If you have recently visited your dentist for the first time in many years, then you may learn that you have many cavities that need to be filled. This is extremely common and you may be relieved once all the fillings are placed in your teeth. However, you should understand that cavities can form underneath or behind the fillings. This is called a recurrent cavity issue. Keep reading to learn what this is and how it can be prevented. This is wise, because the problem can lead to future dental extractions if the issue is not taken care of. 

How Do Recurrent Cavities Form?

Recurrent cavities actually develop underneath and behind cavities. This may seem confusing since the area appears as though it is completely blocked off from bacterial exposure. Many people will blame their dentists for leaving behind decay when a filling is created. While the remnants of decay can cause this problem, most dentists are extremely careful when it comes to removing decay from the teeth.

The issue is often the result of new decay. This decay develops when bacteria are able to find small minuscule openings around the filling. The bacteria move through the cracks and pits and start to degrade the tooth dentin and enamel underneath the resin. 

Cracks and openings may be stress cracks that develop in the fillings. This is one reason why it is wise to have your teeth checked regularly by your dental professional. In particular, x-rays need to be completed every six months to three years, as the images can identify the recurrent cavities early on. 

How Can Recurrent Cavities Be Prevented?

It is difficult to prevent all minuscule openings from forming around your fillings. However, you can minimize the cracks and holes by making sure that you do not grind your teeth at night. If you think you may grind, then ask your dentist about a dental guard. Also, you want to make sure that you do not bite or chew on things that you should keep out of the mouth. Pen caps, pencils, bottle caps, and toothpicks are a few examples. 

You also want to keep plaque and tartar from developing around fillings because the debris can attract a great deal of bacteria. Ask your dentist for a diagram of your fillings so you can carefully clean around each one. Consider using more high-tech cleaning tools like electric toothbrushes and water flossers to assist you.

You should also seek out assistance from your dentist if you see any discoloration around your fillings. While this may just be staining, it also could be the development of a new cavity. It is best for decay to be removed as soon as possible before it grows behind the filling.