Tooth decay can damage any tooth. Even a tooth that already has a filling.
Decay often occurs between the teeth, where it’s harder to keep clean. This is why flossing daily is important. Floss that glides between the teeth can remove food particles and bacteria that will build up and cause decay.
The grooves in your molars are susceptible to cavities because these areas collect food particles and bacteria. Brushing at least twice a day, and even using a fluoride mouth rinse, can help keep these teeth cleaner and less vulnerable.
The very back teeth are often harder to clean with your tooth brush. Flossing in front of, and behind these back teeth help to keep them more clean. A fluoride mouth rinse can be especially helpful if you still have your wisdom teeth as these are very hard to clean properly with a tooth brush.
Tooth decay can also form around an existing filling. The natural tooth around a filling can collect new bacteria and lead to a small cavity between the tooth and filling material. Left untreated, this small cavity can grow deeper and deeper and lead to extreme discomfort and pain in the tooth.
The root of a tooth can have decay too, just below the gumline. This is often evident as a dark brown or blackish line right at the edge of the gum.
If you have any sensitivity to hot or cold, or even just a dull ache in a tooth, it’s best to get in for an exam with your dentist right away. The sooner decay is treated, the more comfortable you’ll be, and the less costly the treatment will be.