What does a cavity look like?


In general, a cavity is a large hole in something. It can refer to just about anything – from your chest cavity to the cavity in the limestone that becomes a cave! These are just large holes in a place where there is nothing left.

If you are talking specifically about dental cavities, they are holes in your teeth. This is usually caused by some sort of bacteria on your teeth that eat away at your enamel, or the substances that protects the outside of your teeth.

Even though your enamel is one of the strongest substances in your body, it is still subject to decay at the chemical level. That’s why you have to always brush your teeth!

There are three types of cavities, and each of them look a little bit different.

Root cavities happen on the surface of the roots of your teeth. This typically only happens in older people because roots are only exposed when your gums recede. The roots don’t have enamel to protect them, so they are more vulnerable to cavities. They look like holes in the sides of your teeth, especially where your teeth meet your gums.

Pit and fissure cavities happen to anyone, and only on the chewing surfaces of your teeth. Those are the flat parts of your back teeth. If you see holes in any of your larger back teeth when you look in a mirror, those are these pit and fissure cavities. Many of them are cause when you don’t brush your teeth or you forget to floss.

The last type of cavity, smooth-surface cavities, are holes that occur on the sides of your teeth. These are the kind that can happen on your front teeth if you’re not careful! They are the least common, and happen if you don’t brush your teeth often enough.

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