Cavity Formation 101

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Nobody want to be told they have a cavity. We know that cavities are bad—but do you know how cavities form? If you know the cavity formation process, you can better avoid them in the future. Our skilled dentist in Enid, Oklahoma, is happy to offer some advice.

Primarily, cavities form due to acid eroding the tooth enamel. The acids involved come from two sources: bacteria and food.

There are multiple kinds of bacteria that live in your mouth. These bacteria feed on the sugars left in your mouth in the form of food particles. The bacteria produce an acidic byproduct that covers the tooth and begins eroding the tooth enamel. As this process continues, eventually a hole forms. This hole is called a cavity. The cavity can expose the inner layers of the tooth. The inner layer stores the nerve endings and other soft tissues necessary for the tooth to stay alive. As those tissues are exposed to infection and decay, tooth failure can result.

The foods and the drinks you consume can also contribute to cavity formation. Not only do food particles feed bacteria, but the acids present in foods can erode teeth directly. Eating things like sticky, acidic candy is particularly damaging, as the acids and sugars both stay on the teeth. The sugar feeds bacteria that erode enamel and the acid erodes the enamel directly. Avoid acidic drinks like wine, energy drinks and sports drinks.

For more information or for an appointment with our dentist in Enid, Oklahoma, call Brush Pediatric & Family Dentistry at 580-233-0043. Dr. Chris Fagan and our team look forward to helping you make your smile strong!