What is a cavity?


Tooth decay is another way of describing the word “cavity.” A cavity is actually the result of getting bacteria stuck on your teeth, which forms plaque and then causes your tooth enamel to break down. When you eat and drink foods that have sugar, the bacteria will produce acids that break through the enamel and cause the plaque to form into the cavity.

Since cavities are predominantly caused by lifestyle habits, including what people eat and drink, teeth brushing habits, and drinking fluoridated water, there are usually ways to avoid tooth decay. So, let’s cover different types of cavities, diagnosis and prevention tips:

Types of cavities:

There are three main types of cavities: coronal, root, and recurrent decay. A coronal cavity is most common for children and adults and is usually on the teeth’s chewing surface or in-between the teeth. Root cavities happen when receding gums give way to exposed tooth roots, which are highly susceptible to decay. Finally, recurrent decay is when a cavity forms around existing fillings or crowns. Oftentimes, the areas around existing fillings continue to accumulate plaque and would therefore be more likely to continue to decay if not properly cared for.

Cavity diagnosis and treatment:

The only way to properly diagnose a cavity is to come in for a check-up at our Fort Myers office here at Shane McDowell Dentistry. Over the years as people age, fillings from existing teeth can weaken or leak around the edges, tooth-root decay can occur, as well as just getting the typical coronal cavities from every day habits. We have many treatment options that are safe, comfortable and most-importantly – protect your teeth from further decay.

Prevention tips:

Our most critical piece of advice is to always brush your teeth at least twice a day for two full minutes. In addition to brushing your teeth, a thorough flossing at least once a day, along with eating nutritious and balanced meals (limiting sugar intake) will help do wonders for your dental health. And last, but not least, by visiting our dental practice twice a year for professional cleanings and oral examinations, you can rest assured that you have an ally in mouth healthy living today and always!

At Shane McDowell Dentistry we are here to help you with any questions or concerns that you may have with your oral health. Please call 239-936-0597 or visit

www.myfortmyersdentist.com/appointment to schedule an appointment with our experienced and friendly staff today.

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