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What kinds of tooth decay are there?

It is worth seeing your dentist even with early symptoms of tooth decay as there are many treatment methods available, whether the damage is to the crown, the neck or the root of the tooth.

What kinds of tooth decay are there?

Our dentist Dr Krisztina Ujj discusses the development, treatment and prevention of tooth decay. Following our blog post on tooth decay and its treatment, we have now compiled information on the various kinds of a condition that is also known as caries.


Tooth neck decay

This occurs at the meeting place of the root and the crown, or – in the event of receding gums – the surface of the root no longer covered by enamel where the cement is exposed.

Following removal of the decay lesion, the teeth are generally treated with fillings.

It is also common to hear of the loss of material in teeth that are free of caries – this is most common in individuals who grind their teeth. In these cases, the greatest pressure is on the necks of the teeth, where wedge-shaped fractures can develop that do not necessarily decay. As the surface of the tooth is exposed, we also apply fillings to these teeth to stop them becoming sensitive and make them easier to clean.


Interproximal cavities

In the event of decay between the teeth, known as an interproximal cavity, the decay always begins between the teeth – at or below the point where two adjacent teeth meet. This can be prevented with regular cleaning between the teeth: very tight gaps require dental floss, while wider spaces can be cleaned with the right toothbrush.

When the extent of the decay is so great that a piece of the tooth is missing, you can feel it with your tongue, in which case the structure of the tooth is so weakened that a piece can easily break off. However, if the caries is only present between the teeth, it is certain to be picked up on in good time during the course of a dental examination using an iTero scan.

Decay of the grooves of the teeth

The grooves of teeth are difficult to clean because they can be of many different shapes and sizes. If the opening of the groove is narrower and there is a larger empty space beneath it (which still constitutes the groove) that cannot be accessed by a toothbrush, decay of the grooves is not necessarily the result of ineffective or lack of cleaning, but is due to the shape of the groove. For this reason, it is a good idea to observe the teeth from the age of six (when the first permanent teeth break out) as the structure of the child's grooves are visible by this time. If necessary, preventative sealing of the grooves can be carried out to prevent subsequent decay.

How does an iTero scan make it easier to assess the condition of the teeth?

The scanner digitally images the structure of the teeth and gums without harmful radiation, so it is a good alternative during pregnancy or for children. The technology was developed to reveal irregularities not visible to the naked eye, allow these changes to be tracked, and also provide more precise assessment than is possible with any other technique.


Book an appointment to check the condition of your teeth, which, in addition to the dental examination, includes a panoramic X-ray and scanning of your entire dental arch.

Any questions before booking an appointment?

If you are unsure which doctor to see or what examination you require, we are here to help!

Simply request a free callback from one of our colleagues, who will help you find the right specialist based on your specific issue.

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