What is Pitting in Dentistry?

Pits and fissures can be either deep or shallow and usually are on chewing surfaces of your teeth. When you look at your back teeth, you will see ridges and valleys. The ridges are pits with a depression in the exterior enamel part of the tooth, and the valleys are fissures that usually occur on all chewing surfaces of your teeth. Pits are simply fissures that are just limited to the one area. Although pits and fissures are on premolars and molars, a cavity is usually found more often on the molars than on the premolars.

How Do Pits and Fissures Form?

Pits and fissures on the tooth are perfect for sheltering dental plaque since they are instrumental in helping you chew your food. When the food gets stuck in these grooves, a bacterial film will develop on your teeth and will immediately create plaque if not cleaned daily.
It is often difficult to clean these areas since the bristles of your toothbrush are often unable to get to the particles in these grooves. When the microbes in the plaque feed on sugars found in your food and beverages, it then develops acids that attack the protective tooth enamel. Over time, your enamel will wear out, and the tooth decay will set in.

Fluoride, found in your toothpaste and your water, is extremely beneficial in helping prevent tooth decay. The impact is actually insignificant on the chewing surface of teeth. Most of the tooth decay experienced by school-aged youngsters happens in these pits and fissures. Therefore, it is imperative for you or your family to have checkups and teeth cleaning every six months.

What Are Fissure Sealants?

Your dentist may suggest a plastic coating material called a fissure sealant to protect the pits and fissures on the surface of the tooth. Securing the deep grooves decreases the opportunity of tooth decay on your teeth.

Pit and fissure sealants were designed to assist with three preventive measures:

* Sealants protect the pits and fissures of teeth with a resin component.
* Fissure sealants will help prevent any bacteria from going deep into the grooves which minimizes bacteria on the tooth. Teeth with fissure sealants are far less inclined to have tooth decay than those that have not been filled.
* Sealants also make the pits and fissures easier to clean during brushing and biting, since the food particles will not get stuck in the fissures.

Are You a Candidate for a Fissure Sealant?

Both children and adults can benefit from fissure sealants, yet the sooner you get them, the more effective the results will be. Dentists usually suggest sealants once the permanent molars have erupted, once your child has had their sixth birthday.

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) states that any permanent tooth with deep pits or fissures is at risk for decay. Anyone is a candidate for a dental sealant. It is an elective treatment and can be reapplied as either you or your child continues to age.

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