Imagine you are in the dental office and the dentist is showing you on a screen where in your mouth you are most likely to get cavities, much like in the picture below.
Wouldn’t that advice be invaluable? It would probably help you know where to concentrate when you brush.
Although you’re not sitting in my dental chair, I can still tell you in general the six most common places where you’re most likely to get a cavity.
Six Common Places Where You Can Get Cavities/Dental Decay
1 – In the grooves on the chewing surface of your back teeth. There are many grooves that run in the teeth. These are called fissures. There are also pits. Some molar teeth have pits on the side of them that commonly get cavities. You can find these pits on the tongue side of your upper molars and on the cheek side of your lower molars.
2 – In between your teeth. In a normal mouth, all the teeth touch each other on each side except for the ones all the way in the back. In the area between the teeth, it is hard to fit a toothbrush and easy for plaque to grow and create a cavity, especially if you’re not flossing daily!
3 – At the margins of fillings, crowns, bridges, and other dental work. Sometimes the tooth/restoration interface isn’t as smooth as we’d like it to be. This area between the restoration and the tooth is an easy place for plaque to grow. White fillings don’t last as long as silver fillings, so if you want a long-lasting filling, ask your dentist if you can have a silver amalgam filling.
4 – On the tooth just above the gumline. This is a common place for cavities. I have seen it a lot in people who drink lots of energy drinks and soda pop. It is believed that acids can pool around the gumline and attack the teeth, creating a cavity.
Here’s a list of nine drinks that can dissolve your teeth if you drink them frequently!
5 – On the roots of teeth. When you have periodontal disease (commonly known as gum disease — a leading cause of tooth loss), the bone and gums that surround the teeth gradually fall down. This exposes the root surface of the teeth. The root surface is much softer than the hard enamel shell that encases the tops of our teeth. It is much easier for cavities to occur on the root surface, which is why it’s important to catch periodontal disease in its initial phases and treat it.
6 – Teeth that are right next to a partial denture. It is easy for food to get trapped between a partial denture and the natural teeth. Plus, there’s usually a metal appliance that fits around the tooth making it easy for plaque to grow. If you have a partial denture, ask your dentist or denal hygienist for methods to help you keep your remaining teeth healthy. They can come up with an oral hygiene program tailor-made for you.
Hopefully that gives you some new ideas on how you can better take care of your teeth. Make sure you’re brushing the grooves and pits of your teeth and flossing to get between them. If you find that when you floss around a filling, you can’t get the floss to go down or come back up from between the tooth, you should go visit your dentist so that he or she can fix the filling so you don’t get a new cavity around it.
Do you have any questions or comments about how and where cavities occur? Type them below in the comments section. Even if you have a story to share about your cavity, go ahead and leave it below in the comments. Thanks for reading!