pit and fissure cavities
Jan 15

What are Pit and Fissure Cavities? Causes and Treatment

Jan 15

Dental cavities are the most common dental health issues you will come across. From kids to adults, no one is spared. Cavities are not just tiny holes on the tooth surface, they can lead to more problems resulting in tooth decay. There are many types of dental cavities, including root cavities, pit and fissure cavities, and smooth-surface cavities. Each of them has different causes and treatments. However, from all these three, pit and fissure cavities always remain hidden. Pits and fissures are the most common areas of tooth decay. In this guide, we will learn about pit and fissure cavities and possible treatments for them.

What are Pits and Fissures?

Pits are the minor holes on the surface of your teeth, while fissures are grooves on the chewing surface of your teeth. Pits and Fissures are usually on molars and premolars because these teeth are associated with the chewing process. Combinedly, these two make the whole chewing surface. Majorly, they are the groovy lines in the molar teeth. And black lines in molars are pit and fissure cavities in them. The major reason for the cavities is an accumulation of food particles resulting in decay.

Major Causes of Pit and Fissure Cavities

Causes of Pit and Fissure Cavities

As molar teeth help in chewing, they have holes and depressions in them. The reason for cavities is an accumulation of food particles in the depressions and grooves. This results in the formation of plaque, which then deteriorates your tooth enamel. Over time, the enamel will break down eventually and the cavity will form. The recommended practice to avoid pit and fissure cavities is brushing regularly. However, the cleaning of posterior teeth is a little difficult, so regular dental inspection and cleaning is crucial. Other causes that may lead to the formation of cavities are:

  • Food and bacteria accumulated in the depressions.
  • Inadequate brushing and cleaning of teeth regularly.
  • Consuming too many sweets boosts cavity formation.
  • Diseases leading to reduction of mouth saliva.
  • Lack of vitamins and a healthy diet.

Pit and fissure cavities are most common in children. Children are more likely to eat sweets and unhealthy foods, which weakens their enamel. Enamel is not strong in molars; therefore, consumption of sweets and inadequate brushing intensify the deterioration process. However, you will also find cavities in adults; the reason is the same as in kids. But there are some other cases like diseases leading to saliva reduction and lack of proper diet.

Diagnosis and Prevention of Pit and Fissure Cavity

Pit and Fissure Cavity

In the early stages of pit and fissure cavities, they are less likely to get diagnosed. Even if you go for a regular dental examination, the dentist might not notice them. However, with dental fluoroscopy, you can diagnose them easily. With this, you can recognize the pit and fissure cavity in teeth tissues before visible symptoms. Moreover, there are different stages of cavity formation, including:

  1. Initial: A white spot appears on the teeth. Your expert dentist will be able to notice it while doing a thorough inspection.
  2. Exterior: After a white spot, the breakdown starts in the deep layers of enamel, but the outer tissues are still healthy. You may feel pain or effects while drinking or eating sweet or sour.
  3. Interior: The cavity goes a little deeper in the enamel and starts tooth decay. You may feel pain while eating and brushing.
  4. In-Depth: You will feel acute pain and aching even at night. That’s the time you must go to the dentist, or else you will get periodontitis.

Brushing your teeth every day will help you fight pit and fissure cavities. Brush teeth two times a day for at least 2 minutes. Make sure to clean each corner of your teeth and pay special attention to molar teeth. Regularly inspect and clean your teeth by visiting a dental clinic. Dentists will do examinations, cleaning, and fluoride treatments to remove cavities. They may apply pit and fissure sealants to protect the teeth. Dental sealant is a protective coating which will prevent food from sticking. Dentists usually use sealants on kids right after their permanent teeth erupt. It saves them from cavities and decay from eating sweets and sour. Moreover, rinse your mouth thoroughly after eating your meal.

Pits and Fissure Cavities Treatment

Pits and Fissure Cavities Treatment

If you have early stages of cavities, you can use sealant and some fluorides to protect your teeth from further decay. However, if the cavity roots deeper, the dentist may have to remove the cavity and refill your teeth. Moreover, they may also use dental crowns after refilling to stop the teeth from further decay. Dentists only use crowns when there is a possibility of compromising the tooth structure. Dentists may use the following to treat pit and fissure cavities:

  • Sealants
  • Pit and fissure sealants are thin and made of plastic. They are used as coatings for teeth to prevent or slow down tooth decay. The sealants stick in the grooves and depressions of the teeth and protect the tooth enamel.

  • Fillings
  • After removing the cavity from the tooth, the dentists fill the tooth with filling and composite material. This material will seal the tooth and help to get the previous shape of the teeth. Dentists may use porcelain, gold, silver, or other composite or amalgam materials to refill your teeth.

  • Root Canals
  • When cavities spread to the tooth pulp, dentists do root canal therapy. Root canals prevent the infection from spreading and save your natural teeth. During root canal therapy, dentists remove the affected part and clean the teeth before refilling them.

  • Dental Crowns
  • If pit and fissure cavities start to compromise the shape of a tooth, dentists use dental crowns to restore them. Crowns cover the teeth and protect them from decaying further. Your dental expert will clean the cavity, refill it and then use crowns to protect the original teeth. Crowns are also made up of different materials, including metals, porcelain, ceramic, and others.

    Final Verdict

    With the proper care of teeth, you can easily prevent pit and fissure cavities. Proper brushing and regular care will help your teeth stay healthy for a long time. Moreover, if you remain careless, you may need to spend hundreds of bucks to restore your teeth. It’s better to be careful than face the consequences afterwards. You might not notice the start of a tooth cavity until you have pain and itching in your teeth. That’s why visiting the dentist for a tooth inspection is necessary. They might guide you with prevention or treat your teeth by using different methods.