Get The Facts On Cavity Development From Our O’Fallon Dentist

Written by Dr. Brace on Dec 12, 2023

There are so many treatments and technologies available to help patients overcome dental damage—and thank God for that! However, the ultimate goal is to avoid developing damage in the first place. That is why our O’Fallon dentists are here with some facts on cavity development. We have found that when our patients understand the root causes of dental problems, they are better able to safeguard their smiles.

Cavities, or dental caries, are spots of bacterial infection on or inside a tooth. Many cavities begin in the dental enamel and then move through to the dentin and dental pulp. However, it is also possible for dental caries to originate near the tooth root.

The oral bacteria in your mouth release tooth-weakening acids as they feed, grow, and multiply. Over time, an abundance of oral bacteria will cause your enamel to soften and become more susceptible to fracture as well as infiltration by bacteria.

In order to minimize your risk of developing cavities, you really want to create an oral environment in which it is difficult for oral bacteria to thrive. This means:

  • Following your dentist’s instruction for brushing and flossing, so as to clear away newly developed bacteria every day
  • Keeping up with your schedule of professional dental cleanings, as these appointments allow our dental team to clear away calcified plaque, called tartar
  • Minimizing the number of substances that you consume that contain sugar and refined carbohydrates, as these are prime fuel for bacteria
  • Drinking plenty of water to promote saliva production; saliva works to remineralize and strengthen your teeth
  • Consuming acidic foods and drinks in moderation, as the acid temporarily weakens the enamel

If you do notice a change to your oral health, and you think you may have developed a cavity, please seek treatment as quickly as possible. Cavities that are left untreated will move through the tooth structure, and can also infect oral tissues over time.

Our O’Fallon dentists are here to give you all of the information you need to maintain a healthy and attractive smile. Give our office a call to get started!