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What are Cavities and how do they affect your Teeth?

Diagram about the formation of cavities

Blog highlights:

  • Microorganisms can thrive on the surface of your teeth by consuming the food residue and debris on or in between your teeth
  • Bacteria produces acids as a byproduct, the acids can dissolve the enamel of your teeth in order to create a cavity
  • Aside from poor oral hygiene, and consuming too many sugary foods, aging can also be a factor that can make your teeth susceptible to tooth decay

Cavities can happen to people of all ages. Cavities are also known as tooth decay and it basically happens when the acids that are being produced by the bacteria on your teeth will start to dissolve the teeth enamel.

Bacteria can be found on your teeth no matter how well you brush or floss. These microorganisms thrive on what you eat as they consume the food particles and the food debris that gets stuck in your teeth.

Sugary foods can allow the bacteria to produce a lot of acid byproducts simply because it is very easy for them to metabolize sugars or carbohydrates. Foods like raisins, candy, and even milk can leave behind debris or residue on the teeth surface. They need to be removed by brushing and flossing before the bacteria can consume and thrive on it.

The more acids that the bacteria produce, the more damage it can cause on your teeth enamel. Over time, the acids can completely dissolve the enamel and expose the pulp. The pulp is found inside your tooth where nerve endings and blood vessels are located. When the enamel is dissolved, a cavity is formed. This can cause sensitivity and it can also trigger a lot of pain especially when left untreated.

Aside from food debris and sugary foods, aging can also lead to tooth decay. As we age, our gums receded, exposing the roots of the teeth. Since this portion of the teeth does not have adequate protection, bacteria can easily form plaques on these areas. Over time, the plaque will start to create cavities.

In order to avoid cavities or tooth decay, you need to brush your teeth twice a day and floss in between your teeth daily. You should also make it a point to see your dentist regularly so any problems can be detected and treated in its early stages. It is also beneficial for people to eat a balanced diet that is composed of healthy meals, knowing that eating too many sweets can easily make matters worse for your teeth.

Keep in mind that cavities do not happen in an instant. It will take time for bacteria to destroy your teeth. So it is best that you observe the proper oral hygiene practices while you still can. Remember, cavities cannot heal on its own and it can lead to tooth loss if left untreated.


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It's time to clean those pearly whites!