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Can you get a cavity between your teeth? Unfortunately, they’re more common than you might think. Cavities between your teeth–also known as an interproximal cavity–are hard to spot. They’re less noticeable visually and might not cause you much discomfort in the early stages. However, these cavities are also fairly common–especially in patients who haven’t kept up with their flossing regimen. But once you’ve become aware of an interproximal cavity, how does your dentist treat it? 

Can A Cavity Between Teeth Be Fixed?

Cavities come in all sizes, and they can affect virtually any of your teeth. You can get a cavity between front teeth or a cavity between molars, though the latter tends to be more frequent. Because bacteria can build up between your teeth, tooth decay is fairly common in these harder-to-reach areas. 

Whether you have a small cavity between your teeth or even more than one, it’s definitely possible for your dentist to treat them. As a first step, they’ll use an x-ray to diagnose a cavity between teethAn interproximal cavity is usually filled just like any other cavity. If you catch it early enough, your dentist may opt for a process called recalcification. Decay which extends less than halfway into the tooth enamel can be recalcified using fluoride gel or varnish an easy and non-invasive procedure. However, because these cavities can be difficult to spot, it’s more likely you’ll end up needing a traditional filling. If the cavity gets bad enough, you could end up needing a root canal, crown, or even tooth extraction. Since it can be hard to tell when you have an interproximal cavity without an x-ray, it’s a good idea to get routine dental check-ups to catch tooth decay early. 

Does Getting Cavities Filled Between Teeth Hurt? 

A cavity between teeth can cause a few uncomfortable side effects before it’s treated. You may experience sensitivity to heat or cold and mild discomfort once the decay reaches your tooth’s dentin layer. When it comes to fixing a cavity between your teeth, the process is no more painful than getting a regular cavity filled. Before filling your cavities between teeth, your dentist will numb your mouth to prevent discomfort. After taking out the decayed part of the tooth, your dentist will fill it with a material of your choice, usually a tooth-colored resin composite. When performed by a quality dentist, having a cavity between teeth filled should be painless!

Avoid Cavities Between Teeth

Of course, no matter how easy it is to fix a cavity, it’s best to avoid getting them in the first place. To receive a cavity-free bill of health at your next check-up, stay diligent with your flossing routine. Flossing is the only way to thoroughly remove the plaque and bacteria that cause decay between your teeth. In addition to good dental hygiene at home, regular dental cleanings are the only surefire way to identify an interproximal cavity before it needs more serious treatment. If you’re looking for the best dental services in Albany, Oregon, schedule your next dental check-up any time!