Dental Cavities and What Causes Them
A cavity is a decayed area of the tooth where part of the actual tooth structure is destroyed and eaten away. This is a result of harmful bacteria collecting on the surface of the teeth and can affect both the enamel and dentin of the tooth.
Bacteria are always present in the mouth. These bacteria feed off of food particles in the mouth, especially sugars. When these bacteria feed, they release acids. The combination of food particles, bacteria, and acids results in the formation of plaque that sticks to the surface of the teeth. The plaque holds this acid against the surface of the teeth, which slowly erodes away the surface enamel, resulting in tooth decay and the formation of a cavity.
Cavities are not easy to notice until they are advanced and reach the inner tooth structure called the dentin. They may result in pain, especially when eating certain foods. You may even see a visible spot in the advanced stages. It is necessary to have regular dental exams in order to detect and treat cavities when they begin to develop. A dentist can find cavities through a thorough exam and X-rays, making it easier to treat them before they advance.
To help prevent cavities, be sure to brush your teeth twice each day and to floss between teeth on a daily basis. Be sure to see our North Hollywood dentist for twice a year exams and cleanings for optimal protection from decay.
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