Causes of dental cavities
Dental cavities happen because of the dissolving of the outer layer of the tooth structure by the acids produced by the bacteria when we eat something sugary or carbs. The acids are produced as a byproduct of the process of the bacteria feeding on the carbs. This byproduct, the acid, dissolves the outside layer, which is the enamel, and then helps the bacteria to spread deeper into the tooth structure.
What happens after the bacteria spreads into the tooth structure?
The bacteria will keep on spreading inside the tooth and they go from enamel to dentin. At the beginning, the process is painless and the person doesn't feel anything. When bacteria start dissolving dentin, the person starts to feel sensitivity, especially to cold and sweet, because dentin is sensitive. If it keeps on spreading, it will reach to the area where the nerve of the tooth is, and at that time, the cavity becomes more painful.
Cavities are treated by replacing the decayed part with a filling. This stops the cavity from spreading into the tooth structure.
Will a cavity stop spreading on its own?
No, a cavity will not stop once the bacteria is inside the tooth. It will keep spreading inside the layers of the tooth unless we stop it by removing all the decayed parts and replacing it with a filling.
How is the dissolving of the tooth structure detected?
The dissolving of the tooth structure is detected during the clinical examination, even if it's at an early stage, and we can then proceed with the treatment. If it's left untreated, then it's going to go into the deeper structure and cause more damage.
Does cleaning help prevent cavities?
Yes, cleaning the teeth will help because when you come for your regular check and cleaning, we will remove the plaque layer, which is all bacteria laying on the tooth. By removing the plaque layer, we remove the causative factor of cavities.
If you have further questions or if you are ready to take action, please give us a call at 519-668-7635. We are here to help.