How Do Cavities Form?
The word cavity is probably one of the most well-known dental terms. There are very few of us who have not experienced a dental cavity at some point. Still, very few patients understand how a dental cavity is formed. At the Cosmetic Dentistry Institute in Troy, our cosmetic dentists, Craig and Marcy Goldin, believe that it is important for patients to understand how cavities are formed so that they will have a better understanding of how to prevent cavities as well as how we treat cavities.
How Cavities Form
Cavities are a progressive result of tooth decay. A cavity, which is a small hole in the tooth’s enamel, will not appear overnight, rather, it is the result of gradual tooth decay. So how does tooth decay begin and how do cavities form?
The first step of tooth decay and a dental cavity is the introduction of food and/or beverages to the mouth. Small particles of food, as well as acid, starches, and sugars that are present in food and beverages will be left behind on the teeth. Obviously, we cannot avoid the intake of food and beverages. That is why it is extremely important to rinse, brush, and floss the teeth frequently to keep them clean.
The second step in the formation of cavities is the presence of bacteria, which will occur when the teeth have not been thoroughly cleaned of sugars and starches. Bacteria thrive on the sugars and starches that are left behind by food and beverages. Without proper oral cleaning, this bacteria will multiply and will form a hard, sticky substance known as plaque and tartar. Plaque and tartar eat away at the protective layer of the teeth, the enamel.
Again, without proper removal of bacteria, plaque, and tartar, tooth decay continues to worsen and healthy tooth enamel is destroyed, eventually forming small holes in the protective layer of the tooth. These holes are what are known as dental cavities.
Unfortunately, patients will not notice a dental cavity just by looking at their teeth. That is why it is extremely important to maintain good oral hygiene habits as well as routine dental exams so that cavities can be detected and treated before they progress further. We offer our patients cavities treatment in the form of dental fillings. After cleaning the tooth of bacteria, plaque, and tartar, a dental filling is placed to fill the cavity and seal off the tooth so that tooth decay does not continue to progress. There are situations in which a dental cavity has deteriorated the tooth enamel so significantly that a dental filling will not be sufficient. In these cases, we can apply dental crowns in order to restore the damaged tooth and protect it from further decay.
Bi-annual dental exams and cleanings are a patient’s greatest tool in preventing dental cavities. If you are looking for a caring and experienced dentist to care for the health of your teeth, look no further than Drs. Craig and Marcy Goldin. Contact us to learn more about the care, services, and amenities that are available at the Cosmetic Dentistry Institute. You’ll be glad you did!