Dental Tips Blog

Nov
27

Where Do Cavities Come From?

Posted in Fillings

It’s just another ordinary morning. You’re brushing your teeth at the bathroom mirror. You open your mouth really wide to reach the back teeth when suddenly you see a dark spot on one of your teeth.

Many of us have had that moment of shock: is that dark stain a cavity?! Where do these small but annoying blemishes come from?

A Germy Situation

The first thing you should know is that tooth decay is caused by bacterial action. A specific kind of bacteria found in everybody’s mouth (S. mutans) produces an acid that erodes away tooth structure.

The process begins with demineralization of the tooth enamel. If the bacteria aren’t removed, they’ll only keep sizzling their way through the tooth until a cavity develops.

This cavity is a hole that the bacteria made. They get to hide in it while they continue breaking down the tooth. So, unless the bacteria-infected tooth material is removed, the destruction will only threaten the tooth even more.

“Then what does sugar have to do with it?”

You’ve heard that too much soda and candy causes cavities. That’s only partly true. Carbohydrates of almost any kind contribute to cavities because carbohydrates are what cavity-causing bacteria love to eat. The bacteria eat the same sugar you do!

Carbs in themselves can be quite acidic to teeth. Foods that have sugar or acid in them can get the cavity-process started by weakening tooth enamel.

Fighting Back!

Prevent cavities with:

  • A diet low in sweet drinks, sugary snacks, and processed foods
  • Great oral hygiene
  • Fluoride use

Visit your dentist to learn more about cavity prevention. And if he or she finds a cavity, get it filled before it gets bigger!

Posted on behalf of:
Definition Dental
12850 SW Canyon Rd
Beaverton, OR 97005
(503) 644-8900

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