Cavity On The Side Of Tooth: Here’s How To Deal With it

cavity on side of the tooth

Cavity, also referred to as the tooth decay, refers to a hole in the tooth.

According to a report published by the National Institute of Health, tooth cavity ranks as the second most common health issue in the United States.

In most cases, it occurs on the top of your teeth. But that’s not where it’s limited to; it can as well pop out on the side of your teeth.

I repeat, on the side of your teeth.

Cavity On The Side Of Tooth

I know right now you’re wondering whether this is possible. But if you ask your dentist right now, they’ll tell you that they’ve handled more such cases that you can imagine.

How’s a tooth cavity on the side of your teeth like? How does it develop? Can it be filled just like the normal tooth decay?

In the following post, we’ll discuss everything related to this kind of cavity, including how you can deal with it.

Let’s begin…

The Teeth Cavity On The Side Of Your Teeth Can Take Different Forms:

i). One, it can appear on your tooth surface, right above your gum line. This is the most common form. Experts say that it occurs when you take lots of energy drinks or soda pop. The acids present in such drinks pool around your gum line, attack your teeth, ending in a cavity on the side of your tooth.

ii). The cavity can also occur on the side of your tooth, but this time on the root of your tooth. If you’re suffering from gum disease, the gums, and bones surrounding the root of the tooth will fall off gradually, exposing the root surface.

As you know, your tooth root is the softer than the enamel on your root. Thus, development of cavity on the root becomes much easier than on the enamel.

What Causes Tooth Cavity On The Side Of The Tooth?

As with the normal cavity, the cavity occurrence on the side of your tooth results from two primary causes- high sugar/starch diet and presence of bacteria in your mouth.

The common bacterial presence in your mouth usually teams up with food pieces in your mouth and saliva to form a sticky, invisible substance- the plaque- on the entire surface of your tooth. Plaque tends to accumulate fast and taking foods rich in sugar/starch makes it stickier.

If you don’t get rid of this plaque early, it develops into a harder substance- tartar.

With time, the bacteria present in the plaque and tartar will convert the sugar into acid, and that’s where cavities begin.

The acids will demineralize enamel, creating a soft spot on the side of your tooth (the cavity) over time.

After destructing the enamel, the acid reached the dentine, a softer layer that’s highly vulnerable to acid. The acid and bacteria continue working their way through your tooth surface, resulting in a bigger hole.

How To Treat Cavity On The Side of The Tooth?

Several methods have been successfully used to treat tooth cavity.

If the cavity is in its early stages- just a small lesion beginning to develop- you can simply apply some fluoride paste on the side of your tooth to stop the demineralization process. (Fluoride-free toothpaste is not recommended for this)

However, if the cavity has already formed, you’ll have to undergo a filling process- where the decay is removed and replaced with a filling.

According to Dr. Margaret Culotta-Norton, a Washington DC-based dentist, “If the decay is removed completely and a good filling is placed, the cavity will be gone for a long time, sometimes forever.”

Dental Filling

The dentist performs filling by getting rid of the decayed tooth material with the help of a drill and replaces it with gold, silver alloy, porcelain or composite resin.

Many dentists prefer using the silver alloy and gold as they’re stronger than porcelain and resin. However, given that the former are highly visible, it’d be better if they’re used on the back teeth.

If the cavity occurs on the side of your front tooth, you’d want to use the resin or porcelain as these blends well with your tooth natural appearance.

Did you know that filling a cavity on the side of your tooth is easier than on the top of your tooth?


If the hole is too big, such that it has weakened most of the tooth, your dentist might recommend replacing it with a crown.

This involves removing the decayed or weakened section and fitting a crown over the remaining part of your tooth.

Usually, crowns are made from gold, porcelain, and porcelain attached to metal materials.

Root Canal

In cases where the decay has killed the nerve in your tooth, your dentist would remove the decayed part as well as the center of your tooth, including the pulp. The root is then filled with some sealing material, and a crown applied.

How To Prevent It?

Two sure-fire ways to prevent tooth cavity include diet change and oral hygiene.

Good oral hygiene translates to brushing your teeth regularly (at least twice every day), and water flossing at least once every day. Taking professional teeth cleaning after every six months, and having an annual dental examination can help detect cavity in its earliest stages.

Reducing your intake of sugary drinks and foods can also help prevent cavities on the side of your tooth.

The Mayo Clinic also recommends the use of a dental sealant to keep off the cavity, especially in your kids.

Final Thoughts

Tooth cavity can not only occur at the top but also on the side of your tooth. This usually arises from poor dental hygiene and eating too much of sugary foods and drinks.

The condition can be treated using effective methods like dental filling, crowns, and root canal.

You can also prevent it from occurring by practicing good dental hygiene while checking on your intake of sugary foods and drinks.

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