What Leads to Cavities – Causes and Prevention Methods

Many people wonder what leads to cavities and how they could prevent them – here are some details about the causes and some tips on prevention.

The Formation of Cavities

Our mouths are home to millions of bacteria that live there peacefully. However, when we consume foods and beverages that are high in sugar, the bacteria start proliferating and when they thrive excessively, they combine with the food residues left in the mouth and with saliva to produce acids and to form an invisible, sticky film called plaque that adheres to the surface of the teeth and of the gums.

When the acids produced by the bacteria come into contact with the enamel of the tooth, they start weakening, then breaking down the enamel, causing tiny holes on the surface of the tooth. The bacteria then penetrate through the tiny holes into the deeper layers of the tooth called the dentin and from there they continue their eroding activity to even deeper into the tooth, in severe cases all the way down to the pulp of the tooth.

dental hygiene

How to Protect Your Teeth Against Cavities with Proper Oral Hygiene

As is the case with so many dental issues, prevention through proper oral hygiene is the best way to fight cavities. Brushing your teeth at least two times a day and flossing once is the best way to prevent the proliferation of acid-forming bacteria and to remove plaque in its early form. Finish the cleaning process with a thorough rinse, then swish with an anti-bacterial mouthwash to make sure that all the bacteria from the mouth are removed.

Diet Changes for Cavity Protection

Beside dental hygiene, diet changes can also help protect your teeth against cavities. Try to avoid sugary foods and sweetened beverages to reduce the formation of plaque to the minimum and include lots of dairy products into your diet to make sure your teeth get sufficient calcium to stay strong and to resist cavities. Consuming foods that promote the production of saliva is also important – the more saliva is produced in your mouth, the more efficient the removal of cavity-causing bacteria becomes.

The Importance of Regular Visits to the Dentist

In the early stages, cavities don’t cause any symptoms, not even mild discomfort, but cavities in the incipient phase are the easiest to treat. During the check-up, your dentists in Highlands Ranch will perform a detailed examination of your teeth to detect the tiny discolored spots that indicate the formation of a cavity and the cavities that have already formed. Cavities are relatively cheap and easy to treat – the affected area is cleaned with the help of special tools, then the surface of the tooth is made abrasive and a filling of the color of the tooth is applied.

Tooth decay starts with the formation of plaque and with the appearance of cavities, but the issue is easy to avoid. Don’t forget that improper oral hygiene combined with a diet rich in sugar and poor in mineral is what leads to cavities, which also means that with a little attention and care, dental cavities can be easily avoided or reduced to the very minimum.