Dr. Joshua Bratt RVC Dentist

143 N Long Beach Rd, Suite 3, Rockville Centre, NY 11570

Call Us (516) 764-7333 

Call Us (516) 764-7333 

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Understanding Cavity Between Teeth: What You Need To Know

Did you know that a cavity between teeth can have a significant impact on your oral health if left untreated? Understanding interproximal cavities, also known as cavities between teeth, their symptoms, and available treatment options, is essential for maintaining a healthy smile and taking care of tooth enamel. Let’s dive into the world of interproximal cavities and discover how to recognize, prevent, and treat a cavity or multiple cavities between teeth effectively.


Short Summary

  • Dentists can identify interproximal cavities through regular examinations or X-rays, and early detection is key to preventing cavities.
  • Good oral hygiene habits such as daily flossing and mouth rinse coupled with a balanced diet are essential for cavity prevention.
  • Treatment options may include fillings, root canal treatment, dental crowns or implants. Associated risks must be taken into consideration.

Identifying Interproximal Cavities

Understanding Cavity Between Teeth: What You Need To Know, drbrattrvc.com


Interproximal cavities, also known as cavities between teeth, are formed when tooth decay erodes the enamel on one or more teeth. The decomposition of sugar by bacteria in the plaque on teeth leads to enamel erosion, which eventually results in an interproximal cavity. These cavities can be challenging to identify, as they form between two molars. However, dentists can detect them through regular examinations or dental X-rays.


Identifying interproximal cavities early is crucial in preventing further damage and maintaining good oral health. If caught early, some cavities may be recalcified with fluoride gel, provided the cavity has penetrated halfway into the enamel of the tooth. If left untreated, more invasive treatment options, such as fillings, root canal treatment, or dental crowns, may be necessary. Look at our dental fillings page if you need cavities between teeth filled.


Tooth Decay and Enamel Wear


Tooth decay is caused by bacteria in the mouth transforming sugar into energy and generating acid that is detrimental to the teeth. Enamel wear is a significant factor in the development of interproximal cavities, as it makes the teeth more susceptible to decay. Practicing proper dental hygiene and abstaining from sugary foods can assist in preventing tooth decay and curb the need for a dental crown.


If left unaddressed, tooth decay may result in cavities, gum disease, or dental abscesses. Treatment options for tooth decay include fillings, root canal treatment, and dental crowns. Therefore, it is essential to be proactive in maintaining good oral hygiene to minimize the risk of tooth decay and enamel wear, and prevent interproximal cavities. Dentists commonly treat teeth cavities by recommending fluoride toothpaste as a preventative measure.


Plaque Buildup and Bacteria


Plaque buildup is a sticky film of bacteria that forms on teeth and gums when bacteria in the mouth mix with sugary or starchy foods. This buildup can cause tooth decay, gingivitis, and severe periodontal disease. The accumulation of plaque and bacteria can lead to cavities between teeth by producing acids that erode the enamel of the teeth, which is how interproximal cavities form.


To prevent cavities between teeth, it is essential to avoid certain habits. Consumption of sugary snacks and drinks, as well as the use of tobacco, should be avoided. Regular dental check-ups and cleanings can help remove plaque and reduce the risk of interproximal cavities.


Recognizing Symptoms of Cavities Between Teeth

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Recognizing the symptoms of cavities between teeth is crucial for early detection and treatment. Some common indications of interproximal cavities include tooth sensitivity, toothache, dark spots or holes, pus, halitosis, discoloration, chipping, or breaking.


As decay grows in size, one may observe sensitivity in the tooth, pain, and unease. Tooth sensitivity, pain, and discomfort may be experienced due to interproximal cavities. Being vigilant of these symptoms can help in seeking prompt dental care, preventing further damage and complications.


Tooth Sensitivity


Tooth sensitivity is a condition wherein the teeth become sensitive to various stimuli such as hot, cold, sweet, or acidic foods and drinks. It may be attributed to a range of factors, including worn enamel, exposed roots, cavities, cracks, recent dental procedures, acidic foods, tooth grinding, GERD, and gum recession.


To mitigate tooth sensitivity, it is recommended to utilize a soft-bristled toothbrush, brush gently, and utilize a fluoride toothpaste. Additionally, one should abstain from acidic foods and drinks and visit one’s dentist regularly for check-ups to ensure the early detection of any dental issues that may cause tooth sensitivity.


Pain and Discomfort

Understanding Cavity Between Teeth: What You Need To Know, drbrattrvc.com


Pain and discomfort in cavities between teeth are caused by the cavity expanding and making contact with the nerve endings in the tooth. This can be attributed to bacteria in plaque generating acids that erode the enamel of the tooth. If the cavity causes further damage to the tooth, it can impinge on the nerve, resulting in intense pain.


Various treatment options can alleviate pain and discomfort associated with interproximal cavities, such as fillings, root canal treatment, and dental crowns. Maintaining good oral hygiene habits, such as brushing twice daily, flossing daily, and using a mouth rinse, can help prevent cavities and associated pain and discomfort.


Treatment Options for Cavities Between Teeth

Understanding Cavity Between Teeth: What You Need To Know, drbrattrvc.com


For those wondering how to fix cavities between teeth, there are several treatment options available for cavities between teeth, including fillings, root canal treatment, and dental crowns. Each of these treatments offers a different approach to addressing the issue, depending on the severity and location of the cavity.


It is essential to consult with your dentist to determine the most suitable treatment option for your specific situation. Early detection and timely intervention can significantly improve the chances of successful treatment and prevent further complications.


Fillings and Tooth-Colored Filling Material


How are cavities between teeth filled? A filling is a dental procedure utilized to repair a cavity or a cracked tooth. It necessitates the removal of the decayed portion of the tooth and its replacement with a filling material, such as composite resin, porcelain, or gold. The dentist will apply a numbing gel to the gums, inject a local anesthetic into the gum, remove the decayed area of the tooth utilizing a drill or other specialized tool, and then fill the hole in the tooth. The final step consists of polishing the filling. Then, it needs to be adjusted to match a normal bite.


Various types of filling materials are available, including metal alloys and tooth-colored filling materials. The choice of filling material depends on the patient’s preferences and the location of the cavity. Regular flossing and utilization of a mouth rinse, as well as judicious dietary and lifestyle decisions, can help maintain the integrity of the filling and prevent future cavities.


Root Canal Treatment


Root canal treatment is a dental procedure used to treat an infected or damaged tooth. It involves the removal of the infected or damaged pulp from the tooth and subsequent replacement with a filling material. The procedure for a root canal involves removing the diseased tooth pulp, potentially administering medication into the root canal to clear any infection, and then filling the pulp.


Root canal treatment has the potential to preserve a tooth that would otherwise need to be extracted. Additionally, it can help to prevent additional infection and discomfort and restore the tooth to its full functionality. However, it carries a risk of infection, and there is a slight probability that the procedure may not be successful.


Dental Crowns and Broken Teeth


Dental crowns are a type of dental restoration utilized to cover a damaged or decayed tooth. They are constructed from porcelain or metal and are fashioned to fit over the existing tooth. Dental crowns can be employed to address cracked, chipped, or broken teeth, thus providing a viable solution for restoring a tooth that has been damaged due to wear and tear or an oral injury.


Maintaining good oral hygiene is the most effective way to prevent broken teeth. This includes brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and using a mouth rinse. Additionally, abstaining from hard foods and wearing a mouthguard when engaging in sports can help protect your teeth from harm.


Implants as Part of a Smile Makeover



Implants can be incorporated into a smile makeover to replace missing teeth and improve the overall aesthetic of the smile. A smile makeover often involves a combination of treatments, such as porcelain veneers, zirconia or porcelain crowns, and of course, dental implants.


The process for obtaining dental implants as part of a smile makeover typically entails a consultation with a dentist, a dental implant placement procedure, and a restoration procedure. The cost of dental implants as part of a smile makeover may vary depending on the number of implants required, the type of restoration employed, and other pertinent factors.


Preventing Interproximal Cavities: Tips for Good Oral Hygiene

Understanding Cavity Between Teeth: What You Need To Know, drbrattrvc.com


Preventing interproximal cavities is achievable through the consistent practice of good oral hygiene habits. Daily flossing and the use of a mouth rinse play a significant role in eliminating plaque buildup and bacteria that can lead to cavities between teeth.


Moreover, making healthy diet and lifestyle choices can contribute to maintaining good oral health and preventing interproximal cavities. Reducing the consumption of sugary and acidic foods, avoiding tobacco use, and attending regular dental check-ups and cleanings are vital components of preventive dentistry.


Daily Flossing and Mouth Rinse


Daily flossing is of great importance as it assists in the removal of plaque and food particles from between teeth, thus preventing gum disease, tooth decay, and bad breath. Regular flossing will effectively clean the interstices between two molars and stave off the possibility of cavities forming.


Utilizing a mouth rinse daily helps to eliminate bacteria and plaque buildup, which can lead to interproximal cavities. Incorporating daily flossing and mouth rinse into your oral hygiene routine can greatly contribute to a healthier smile and prevent cavities between teeth.


Diet and Lifestyle Choices


Diet and lifestyle choices are of great importance in the prevention of cavities between teeth. Consuming a balanced diet and abstaining from sugary and acidic foods can assist in reducing the odds of cavities between teeth. Optimal dietary choices for preventing cavities between teeth include dairy products, crisp fruits and raw vegetables, and foods containing phosphorus, calcium, vitamin D, vitamin K2, magnesium, and xylitol.


In addition to a healthy diet, certain lifestyle habits can further contribute to the prevention of interproximal cavities. Avoiding tobacco use, limiting alcohol consumption, and practicing good oral hygiene can significantly reduce the risk of developing cavities between teeth.


When to Consider Dental Implants


In cases where severe cavities occur and other treatments are not possible, dental implants should be taken into consideration. Dental implants are small posts, typically composed of titanium, that function as a replacement for the root of the tooth. They are surgically implanted into the jawbone and utilized to support a substitute tooth or bridge.


Dental implants offer a long-term solution to tooth loss and can last for many years. They possess a natural aesthetic, which can help restore an individual’s confidence in their smile.


However, dental implants carry potential risks, including infection, nerve damage, and sinus problems, and may not be covered by insurance.




In conclusion, understanding interproximal cavities and the significance of early detection is vital for maintaining good oral health. By practicing proper dental hygiene, making healthy diet and lifestyle choices, and seeking timely dental care, you can prevent and treat cavities between teeth effectively. Remember, a healthy smile is a beautiful smile!

Frequently Asked Questions


Can cavities between teeth be fixed?


Yes, cavities between teeth can be fixed. If the cavity is small and still in its early stages, your dentist may be able to repair it with a filling.


If the cavity is large or has caused significant damage to the tooth, a crown might be needed.


How do you get rid of cavities in between teeth?


To prevent cavities in between teeth, it is important to floss regularly and brush at least twice a day. If caught early, it can be treated with fluoride gel or a filling, but if left untreated for too long, more severe measures like pulpotomy or extraction may be necessary.


Proper oral hygiene and regular dental visits are important for getting rid of cavities between teeth.


Can a cavity between teeth cause pain?


Yes, a cavity between teeth can cause pain. Tooth sensitivity to hot or cold, toothache and spontaneous pain are all potential symptoms of cavities as the decay progresses.


Pain may occur without any apparent cause and can be quite severe if the cavity reaches the nerve layer of tissue in the tooth.


How long can you leave a cavity untreated?


It is generally advised that you seek treatment for cavities as soon as possible, as leaving them untreated can result in serious damage to your teeth within a few months.


Therefore, it is advisable to not leave a cavity untreated for more than a few months.


What do cavities look like?


Cavities generally appear as holes or pits on the surface of teeth. They may also be spotted as discolorations such as yellow, brown, or black spots.


In addition, cavities can cause a throbbing pain which indicates that the cavity has reached the center of the tooth.


Dr Joshua Bratt

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