Where Do Cavities Come From?

Cavities are one of the more annoying parts of life that nearly all of us have to do with. In fact, according to the CDC, cavities are the most common chronic disease in children ages 6-11 and adolescents ages 12-19. So while virtually everyone needs to receive treatment for a cavity at some point in their life, many of the patients we talk to claim that they don’t quite understand the problem or the procedure. Why do we get cavities? Where do they come from? And how does our team fix them?

Why do we get cavities?

As explained below, cavities are formed when acid secreted by bacteria dissolves the enamel in our teeth. Enamel is one of the strongest materials in the world, so this is quite a feat. As long as we eat sugar and leave acid to build up in our mouths, we’re bound to experience dental decay. That’s why an important diet isn’t just essential for the health of your heart, but of your mouth, as well.

Where do cavities come from?

Cavities are bacterial infections, namely from Streptococcus Mutans, that form a hole in your tooth. As we eat sugar, this bacteria break it down and produces an acid byproduct in the process. The acid terrorizes our teeth by dissolving our enamel. Eventually, soft spots form and bacteria begin to live in the holes. At this point, we can’t just get rid of the bacteria by simply brushing, flossing, or using mouthwash. We need to fill the cavity in order to destroy the bacteria so that it doesn’t continue to dissolve your enamel and destroy your teeth.

How do we treat cavities?

We all know quite too well how we can use a drill to fill cavities, after some local anesthetic to make the process painless, of course.  However, sometimes we don’t even need to go that far. If the cavity hasn’t burrowed into the enamel, something we call an incipient lesion, we can simply prescribe fluoride to build up and repair the enamel. Dental technology is advancing rapidly and no-drill fillings are becoming more common in certain cases for particular patients. In these rare cases, we can clean the tooth and use a resin material to strengthen the tooth and fill the cavity.

If you have any lingering questions about cavities or your dental health, or if you would like to schedule a dental exam, please contact our team or make an appointment. Our incredible staff will give you the best dental care possible.

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