Dental Education Lecture: The Earliest Cavity in Adult Tooth

Nancy is 5 years 10 months old.  She loves candy, but does not like to brush.  During her first dental visit, we find a cavity in an adult molar tooth.  This must be the earliest cavity in an adult tooth.  What a pity!

Fig.1 shows three molar teeth: D, E baby molars, 6 adult molar. 

Fig.2 is blow-up photo of Fig.1.  There are two pieces of evidence to demonstrate that the adult tooth has not completely come into her mouth.  The cavity (single arrowhead) is huge.  First, we have to push the gums down with special medicine (double arrowhead) in order to show the big hole.  The gum tissue (G) in the back part of the adult tooth covers about the half of the biting surface.

Therefore, we need to control intake of sugar for our children and supervise their brushing. 

Xin Wei, DDS, PhD, MS 1st edition 11/15/2009, last revision 04/26/2010