How Do Cavities Form In Teeth

Teeth cavities are a common occurrence in many people and an oral health issue experienced by most people. They develop overtime and sometimes many people are oblivious or ignore the signs until they experience excruciating pain in their teeth. Cavities are known to be extremely painful making one very uncomfortable. This makes it one of the most dreadful things that you could have. If you are wondering how do cavities form, it is simple. Cavities are caused by tooth decay and can be treated through filling or a root canal.

The first indication that one has developed cavities is tooth decay. You may be wondering how do cavities form. In the following below, we will explain in detail how cavities form and how they are likely to affect your overall dental health.

What is tooth decay?

Tooth decay is gradual and happens in phases. In general, tooth decay encompasses a series of related conditions which are; the formation of plaque on teeth, deterioration of the dental enamel and the emergence of cavities in teeth. If the teeth has decayed then the solutions available are; to fill it or do a root canal where the decay has become severe.

Formation Of Cavities In Teeth

How do cavities form? It all begins with what we consume in our everyday lives in the form of food and drinks. Every time you eat or drink something that is sugary such as a soft drink, biscuits, cake, gum, a bar of chocolate etc. or things that are rich in starch such as cookies, bread, potatoes etc. it jump starts the fiery growth of mutans streptococci. This is a form of bacteria that thrives in the oral cavity and is the primary source of tooth decay.

Our mouths have numerous bacteria that are always present. It does not matter the effort you put in taking care of your teeth, some bacteria will always be present. Most of these bacteria are found on the gums, teeth, the tongue and other areas in the mouth. Bacteria are not always bad for our health. Some bacteria are very important for us to have an effective immune system.

However, there is bacteria that is responsible for perpetuating disease and making us ill. Some of the bacteria in the mouth is responsible for causing tooth decay. These bacteria are attracted to sugar and thrive in its presence. They are able to grow and use our mouths as their habitat and utilize the sugar left on our teeth and other areas of our mouth as their energy. As they are propagating and cohabiting in our mouths these bacteria produce acids. Lactic acid is one of the by-products of their activity. The acids produced are what causes damage to teeth as time goes on. These acids slowly and gradually erode the tooth enamel.

Enamel is the hard and white layer that covers the outer part of the teeth. It serves as the protective layer that acts as a shield on our teeth to prevent damage. Though it is hard and is one of the strongest substance found in our bodies, enamel is eroded overtime when it is continuously exposed to acids. Gradually, the acid starts to eat way and dissolve phosphate, calcium and other minerals that make up the enamel. The enamel weakens more and more as acid produced by bacteria increases as your consume more sugary foods and drinks. Eventually, small holes form on teeth which now marks the full blown process of tooth decay.

On formation of the small holes no pain is experienced. However, as the enamel reinforcement is overcome by sugar consumption the acid reaches the secondary layer of your teeth, the dentin. When the enamel is completely destroyed a cavity forms. A cavity is a damaged and decaying part of a tooth that cannot be repaired naturally by the immune system. It can only be repaired by a dentist by filling.

After the decay reaches the dentin, most people will start experiencing pain in their teeth and come to the realization that all is not well. It is critical to seek dental care at this point otherwise the cavity will continue to develop and finally reach the blood vessels in the teeth which makes the pain too much and unbearable. A root canal can be done to ease the pain.

There are a broad range of remedies one can seek for this ranging from artificial filling or in severe cases the removal of the affected teeth. However, the remedy applied will be based on the dentist’s assessment of the extent of the decay.

Cavity Prevention

Maintaining oral hygiene at all times is essential to prevent cavities. Brush your teeth twice each day to ensure that sugary substances and plaque in your oral cavity are removed. It is also important to have dental check-ups at least twice a year. The dentist will be able to spot early signs of cavity formation and advice you accordingly.

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