Cavities form on your teeth as a result of tooth decay. Bacteria feeds on leftover food particles, producing destructive acids that eat away at the enamel. Cavities usually form as the result of poor dental hygiene practices.
Regular brushing can stop them from forming on the surface of your teeth, but cavities can still form in between your teeth.
How Do Cavities Get Between Teeth?
Cavities form between teeth just as they form on any other part of the tooth. Food gets stuck between your teeth and bacteria collect there, multiplying as they feast on the lodged particles, producing acids that wear away enamel.
When brushing, most people are focused only on the exposed surfaces of the teeth, and don't think about the spaces between. Even if you are aware that bacteria can collect between your teeth, and follow a regular brushing routine, the bristles on your toothbrush aren't long enough to reach.
Diagnosing Cavities Between Teeth
While some cavities between teeth can be seen, others cannot. A bitewing X-ray, performed in your dentist's office, can tell your dentist if there are any cavities hiding as well as the extent of the damage.
What Can You Do? Proper oral hygiene is the best way to prevent cavities from forming, both on the surface and between your teeth. Brushing at least twice a day can help reduce the amount of plaque and bacteria on your teeth. Flossing, and doing it correctly, can help you reach the difficult spaces between teeth, dislodging food particles, plaque and bacteria. Mouthwash can also help kill any lingering bacteria.
It is also important to visit the dentist at least twice a year for exams and thorough cleanings. Your dentist can remove any stubborn plaque and smooth the surface, preventing bacteria from being able to adhere to the teeth. He can also detect early signs of tooth decay and help you take the proper measures to prevent it from worsening.
Cavities can form anywhere on the tooth. If you suspect there might be one hiding between your teeth, contact our office right away.