A cavity between two teeth is called an inter-proximal cavity. Cavities form when there is breakdown of the outer, calcified enamel of the tooth by bacteria commonly found in the human mouth. Plaque often forms in between the teeth due to the inability of toothbrushes to properly clean these tough-to-reach areas of the mouth. Using dental floss between your teeth once a day will keep the embrasures between your teeth clean and cavity-free. Diet and lifestyle modification by reducing intake of sugary food and drinks; limiting between-meal snacking and eliminating smoking and drinking habits.
Cavity goes undetected until:
The cavity penetrates the enamel and reaches dentin (second layer of tooth). This can result in tooth sensitivity to sweets and cold and discomfort when chewing.
Dentist spots the cavity, typically through a bite wing X-ray.
Depending on the severity of the cavity, one of five procedures can be recommended:
Re calcification: If the cavity is caught early and only extends halfway or less into the enamel, it can typically be recalcified with fluoride gel.
Filling: If the cavity extends more than halfway into the enamel, a filling can be used to restore the tooth to its normal shape and function by materials such as porcelain, gold, silver, resin, or amalgam.
Root canal: If the cavity is severe, having gone undetected and untreated for a long period of time, a root canal treatment might be the best option for saving the tooth.
Crown: A crown is a natural-looking cover for the tooth; made up of ceramics, composite resin, metal alloys, porcelain, or a combination; that protects tooth from masticatory forces.
Extraction: If tooth decay is beyond repair, extraction is the last resort. The gap left by the extracted tooth can be filled with a bridge, a partial denture, or a dental implant.
In short, the most effective dental hygiene for preventing cavities between your teeth is brushing twice every day with a toothpaste containing fluoride, flossing or other interdental aids like an air flosser or a water flosser — once a day, and regular dental checkup by your dentist.
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