Sometimes, you might be able to tell if you have a cavity by feeling a weak spot on your tooth or noticing a small hole in the enamel when you look in the mirror. However, it’s almost impossible to tell if you have a cavity between your teeth, also known as an interproximal cavity, without your dentist X-raying the area. Read on to learn more about cavities between teeth in Round Rock, including how they are detected, treated, and prevented.
How Do I Know If I Have a Cavity Between My Teeth?
Like all cavities, interproximal cavities develop when bacteria in the mouth wear down the protective outer layer of tooth enamel. While cavities on the front or top of a tooth may produce visible signs, patients often don’t notice they have a cavity between their teeth until the damage has penetrated the enamel and reached the sensitive layer of dentin underneath. At this point, you may experience uncomfortable temperature sensitivity and/or sharp pain when biting or chewing. Your dentist may also detect them by taking X-rays at your checkup.
How Your Dentist Can Treat Cavities Between Teeth
Depending on the severity of your cavity, your dentist may use one of the following treatments:
- Filling – The most common way to repair a tooth with a cavity. Your dentist removes the decayed enamel and builds the tooth back up with a tooth-colored material.
- Dental crown – If the cavity is too large, the tooth may not have enough natural structure left to support a filling. In that case, your dentist in Round Rock can place a natural-looking crown over it for protection.
- Root canal – When a cavity reaches the pulp in the center of your tooth, the only way to save it is with root canal therapy. The dentist will remove the pulp (and nerves), replace it with a synthetic material, and seal the tooth back up with a filling or crown.
- Tooth extraction – Extracting a tooth is always a last resort, but your dentist may do it if the damage is too great.
Of course, the best treatment for cavities between teeth – and any dental problem, really – is prevention.
How to Prevent Cavities Between Teeth
Brushing twice a day is great for reducing bacteria and plaque in your mouth, but it doesn’t clean between your teeth. That’s why flossing at least once daily is crucial for shielding your pearly whites from decay, gum disease, and more. For added protection, you could rinse with an antibacterial mouthwash and consume fewer sugary foods and beverages.
By keeping up with your oral hygiene and seeing your dentist for checkups twice a year, you can get cavities between your teeth treated early on or even avoided altogether. In terms of dental care, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!
About the Author
As a dentist in Round Rock, TX, Dr. Mike Asay offers same-day appointments for patients with dental emergencies. He can also perform all of the treatments listed above to treat cavities between teeth. If you notice severe sensitivity or pain in a tooth, contact Chisholm Trail Dental Health via their website or by calling (512) 244-2796.