Cavities are permanently damaged areas in the hard surface of your teeth that develop into tiny openings or holes. Cavities, also called tooth decay or caries, are caused by a combination of factors, including bacteria in your mouth, frequent snacking, sipping sugary drinks and not cleaning your teeth well.
Cavities and tooth decay are among the world’s most common health problems. They’re especially common in children, teenagers and older adults. But anyone who has teeth can get cavities, including infants.
If cavities aren’t treated, they get larger and affect deeper layers of your teeth. They can lead to a severe toothache, infection and tooth loss. Regular dental visits and good brushing and flossing habits are your best protection against cavities and tooth decay.
Three main types of cavities
Cavities are decayed areas of your teeth that develop into tiny openings or holes. The three main types of cavities are depicted in above image.
Smooth surface cavities are the ones that occur on the smooth sides of your teeth.
Root cavities are the ones that develop on the surface over the roots.
Pit and fissure cavities occur on the chewing surface of your teeth.
To help keep your teeth free of cavities, we recommend that you brush and floss your teeth daily, and avoid frequent snacking and sipping sugary drinks especially before bed time.