Have you noticed black lines in the pits of your molars? Are you experiencing tooth sensitivity in your back teeth? The pits and fissures of your teeth are a prime location for tooth cavities to occur. Whether you think you might have a cavity or you want to know more about preventing tooth cavities, read on to learn all about pit and fissure cavities.
Pit And Fissure Cavity: How To Prevent It
Although pits and fissures help you to chew, food can still get stuck in these grooves. Plaque, a film of germs that forms on your teeth, can also accumulate here if not cleaned regularly. It's difficult to reach these areas with your toothbrush, so food and plaque can remain in place and often lead to cavity formation.
When the germs in your plaque feed on sugars from foods and drinks, this produces acids that attack your protective tooth enamel. Over time, your enamel wears down, and tooth cavities may occur.
Pit and fissure cavity prevention starts at home. Make sure to brush your teeth twice a day for at least two minutes, especially after large or otherwise sugary meals. When you brush, pay attention to the surfaces of every tooth, including the chewing surfaces of your back teeth, where pits and fissures are most prevalent.
Your dental professional can also help you prevent pit and fissure cavities by curbing the initial damage. Alongside basic scaling when they scrape plaque and tartar off your teeth, your dentist or dental hygienist might also apply protective material known as a dental sealant to your premolars and molars. A dental sealant is a white or clear plastic coating that fills in your pits and fissures and prevents plaque and food from getting inside. This product is usually applied to children's teeth as soon as their permanent teeth erupt – between the ages of six and 12 – but it can also be used on adult teeth if your dentist determines that you need it.
If the cavity reaches the dentin, your dentist may recommend dental restorations like fillings, composites, or crowns to repair the cavity. Fillings and composites are used for smaller and medium cavities, whereas crowns are used to repair more considerable cavities that compromise the tooth's structure.
Pit and fissure cavities may be harder to reach, but they are preventable with a good oral hygiene routine and the help of your dentist at 6-month cleaning appointments and check-ups.