The Information You Need To Know About How Cavities Form: Provided By O’Fallon Dentists
The dreaded dental cavity is one of the biggest threats to a patient’s oral health. Cavities are infections within teeth—but they don’t necessarily stay in a specific tooth. These dental infections can infect other teeth, spread to gum tissue, and even compromise jawbone tissue.
One of the primary functions of both daily dental hygiene routines and professional preventive cleanings is to prevent cavity formation.
Let’s learn more about how cavities develop, and how you as a dental patient can help to deter cavity formation.
The outer layer of the tooth is the dental enamel; this part of the tooth is designed to protect the more vulnerable inner layers of the tooth. Dental enamel is hard and pretty non-porous. However, dental enamel is not impenetrable. Acidic substances, as well as oral bacteria, weaken and degrade dental enamel over time.
Once enamel has a week spot, or a crack/chip, this area accumulates bacteria and becomes further weakened. Oral bacteria will continue to move through the outer layers of the tooth—feeding on sugars/carbohydrates, multiplying, and producing acid, all of which further wears away the dental structure. In this way, a cavity can start at the surface of the tooth, and move through a patient’s smile.
As you’d imagine, the keys to preventing cavity development are to:
· Minimize the number of bacteria that are able to build up on your smile
· Protect the strength and integrity of your natural dental enamel, so that it can stand up to oral health threats
In our O’Fallon dentist office, we help patients optimize their at-home oral hygiene routines, and we provide the health-boosting preventive treatments that people need. So, give us a call, or submit a question on our Contact Us page to learn more from our dental team. You can take control of your oral health once and for all!