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Think You Have a Cavity Between Your Teeth? Here’s How to Know for Sure!

April 19, 2021

Did you know that over 90% of the American population has had at least one cavity? Tooth decay usually occurs when you’ve neglected your brushing and flossing routine. When a cavity develops on the outside of your tooth, it’s often easy to tell. But, sometimes cavities can be rather sneaky and develop between the teeth, making them almost impossible to spot on your own. So how can you tell if you’re experiencing decay in between two teeth? Read to learn the answer as well as some pro tips for prevention.

How To Know When You Have a Cavity Between Teeth

When decay occurs in between your pearly whites, it’s called an interproximal cavity. Typically, you won’t be aware that you have one until you notice these issues:

  • You may experience sensitivity because the cavity has penetrated the enamel and reached your second layer of tissue called dentin.
  • Your dentist or hygienist notices the cavity, usually found in an X-Ray.
  • Toothache
  • Discoloration
  • Pain when chewing

Your Next Steps…

If you have an interproximal cavity, there’s no need to worry! Depending on the severity of the decay, your dentist will recommend:

  • Dental filling: A filling can be used if the cavity extends more than halfway into the enamel, restoring the tooth to its normal shape and function.
  • Root canal: For a more severe cavity, your dentist will use root canal therapy to clean out the infected tissue, while using a special biocompatible material to fill and strengthen your tooth.
  • Crown: For more severe tooth decay, a dental crown can literally cap the entire visible portion of your tooth. This strengthens and protects it for the future while maintaining your smile’s beautiful appearance.
  • Extraction: As a last resort, if the tooth is too damaged, your dentist may need to extract it to get you out of pain and prevent infection. Your missing tooth can be replaced with a bridge, dental implant, or partial denture.

How to Prevent Cavities

Thankfully, most dental decay can be completely prevented by taking a few simple yet vital steps. Make sure that you’re brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes each session. Angle your brush at 45-degrees for the most thorough cleaning. Also, floss once a day to remove pesky food and plaque from in between your teeth – this is key for protecting yourself from an interproximal cavity. Lastly, don’t forget to visit your dentist twice a year for routine checkups and cleanings. These appointments allow your dental team to catch decay early on before it can progress into something much worse. Plus, your hygienist can remove tartar and plaque from hard-to-reach areas in your mouth to stop cavities from forming in the first place.

Cavities are a constant threat to your oral health, but with the right know-how, they can be avoided. Just remember these tips to keep your smile protected and healthy!

About the Practice

At Havasu Dentistry, Dr. Christine Gonzalez and Dr. Ryan Kurtz combine their extensive training and knowledge to offer all the services necessary to restore your smile. With decades of experience, they are your premier choice for dentistry in Lake Havasu City. Suspect that you have a cavity? Contact them for an appointment through their website or by phone at (928) 455-2601.