Cavity In Between Teeth: Causes, Symptoms and Treatments

Cavity In Between Teeth Causes, Symptoms and Treatments

Cavities are the affected area in the hard surface of your teeth. This is now a common occurrence among all age groups. The affected area or a tooth becomes holes or tiny openings (1) that can lead to a significant toothache, infection, and tooth loss. In medical terms, it is an interproximal cavity. 

Tooth decay is mainly caused by overconsumption of acidic beverages, sugar, and poor oral hygiene. With time, these habits lead to enamel erosion, allowing bacteria to reach the affected tooth. 

If the cavities are not treated right, they may affect the deeper layer of the tooth. Therefore, maintaining oral hygiene and monthly visits to the dentist can protect teeth from future uncertainties. 

Symptoms of Cavity in Between Teeth

Cavity In Between Teeth

Symptoms of cavities may vary according to the condition of the tooth. If the cavity has just begun, it may show fewer symptoms, or you don’t have any symptoms. If your cavity is more profound or more extensive, you may have to face the following symptoms-

  1. Sensitivity
  2. Toothache
  3. Mild to sharp pain
  4. Black or brown stain at the surface of the tooth
  5. Holes and pits in the tooth

Causes of Cavity in Between Teeth

One of the major causes of cavities is tooth decay. However, tooth decay doesn’t emerge abruptly, but gradually and is usually a long process. 

Here’s how tooth starts decaying

1- Plaque formation

Plaque formation is the first sign of tooth decay that leads to cavities in between teeth. Dental plaque is a transparent, sticky layer that coats the teeth. It forms due to the overconsumption of sugar and starch that causes bacteria to start feeding them and form plaque. Usually, it happens when you don’t clean or floss your teeth. Plaque can stay under or above your teeth and your gum line.    

2- Erosion of enamel 

Erosion of enamel

Plaque creates a shield for bacteria and removes minerals from your outer enamel. The next stage of the cavity is erosion, which creates tiny openings in your teeth. Once it has worn your outer enamel, bacteria can reach the inner layer of your teeth, which is softer than enamel and less resistant to acid, causing your teeth to be more sensitive.

3. Bone loss around the tooth

As the tooth starts decaying, bacteria lead to the inner pulp of teeth, which contains blood vessels. The pulp becomes swollen from the bacteria. This may cause a severe pain. Damage can spread inside or outside of the tooth, leading to cavity.

Factors Affecting Cavity in Teeth

  1. Heartburn.
  2. Eating disorder.
  3. Worn fillings or dental devices.
  4. Dry mouth.
  5. Not consuming enough fluoride.
  6. Not brushing your teeth.
  7. Tooth location
  8. Sipping and snacking a lot.

When to Seek Medical Advice

Many times, toothache could be mild and due to some other reason, that resolves on its own over time. However, if you experience severe toothache that lasts for a day or more, seek medical attention immediately.

Tests and Exams

  • Most of the cavities are discovered in the early stages of routine checkups.
  • Dental X-rays (2) can show the cavities before they can be seen on the teeth.

Treatments for Cavity in Between Teeth

Proper treatment for cavities and tooth decay can prevent further tooth damage. Here are the common treatments involved in the process-

A- Fillings

After removing the decayed tooth material, the dentist fills the tooth with composite resin, glass ionomer, or amalgam. Composite resin is the best material for filling teeth nowadays. It gives a natural look and can be used anywhere in the mouth.

B- Crowns

It is a cap placed on the teeth if the decay of the tooth is extensive and has limited tooth structure. The risk of tooth fracture may increase because of large fillings and weak teeth. The crown or cap is fitted to the remaining part of the tooth. Crowns or caps can be made up of gold, silver, porcelain, or porcelain fused to metal

C- Root canals

A root canal (3) is prescribed when the nerve in the tooth dies or the pulp is exposed to bacteria. The tooth’s center is removed and cleaned; the roots are filled with sealing material gutta-percha. The tooth is filled and sealed with a crown.

Complications

Cavities and decaying teeth may seem very common but may give you severe and lasting complications. Don’t think that cavity don’t harm baby teeth. Babies who don’t have permanent teeth can suffer from the cavity and tooth decay.

Complications of cavity and tooth decay may include-

  1. Pain.
  2. Swelling.
  3. Pus around the teeth.
  4. Damage or broken teeth.
  5. Abscess – a bacterial infection.
  6. Chewing problem.
  7. Position of tooth and tooth loss.

Complications when cavities and decay become severe-

  1. Severe pain that makes it hard to live daily life.
  2. Weight loss – because it is hard to chew food.
  3. Nutrition loss- because it is painful to eat food.
  4. Tooth loss- can affect your appearance and can lower your self-esteem.
  5. It can lead to life-threatening infections.

Prevention of Cavity

Good oral health can prevent everyone from cavities. These are some tips to protect your teeth.

Brush Twice a day

Brush your teeth at least twice a day or after every meal. Use toothpaste that contains fluoride. Use an interdental cleaner or floss for better cleaning; this cleaner reaches the inner parts of teeth where a brush can’t. Use fluoride-based toothpaste to strengthen and remineralize your teeth.

Rinse Mouth

Include fluoride-based mouth rinse in your oral hygiene (4).

Visit the dentist regularly

Professional cleaning and routine examinations from your dentist protect and spot the problem early 

Drink some tap water

Tap water contains fluoride, which bottled water doesn’t. Most of the water supplies add fluoride to the water.

Limit your sugar intake

Reducing the consumption of sugary, sweet, and acidic snacks can lower the chances of getting cavities. Consume some tooth-friendly food items like carrots, celery, and apples.

Avoid tobacco products

The use of tobacco and cigarettes can harm your oral health. It can cause discoloration, decaying, and gum disease. Avoid these kinds of products to keep your mouth and body germ and disease-free.  

Dental sealants

Dental sealants are plastic-like coatings placed or applied to the surface of posterior teeth. It stops the build-up of bacteria, which cause plaque.

Antiseptic and disinfectant creams

According to your medical condition, your dentist may recommend special antiseptic and disinfectant creams like chlorhexidine and other treatments to cut the bacteria from the mouth.

Combined treatments 

Prescribed sugar-free chewing gums can reduce the chances of cavities.

Conclusion 

Proper dental care and healthy habits play a vital role in keeping oral hygiene. By taking good care of teeth, one can protect them from cavities and decay at an early age and can enjoy an infectious smile for a lifetime.

References

  1. Dental cavities- https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/001055.htm
  2. Dental x-rays – https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/003801.htm
  3. Root canal – https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/007275.htm
  4. Dental care – adult – https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/001957.htm

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