If you had a cavity, would you know it? As it progresses, definitely, since the tooth decay that causes the cavity can also cause your teeth to hurt occasionally (more frequently the worse it gets). However, in its earliest stages, cavities aren’t always noticeable. Therefore, the best way to protect your teeth from tooth decay is to understand what cavities are and how they develop so you can more effectively prevent them from forming.
What to Know About Cavities
1. Which teeth do cavities affect?
2. What is the name of the mineral layer that protects your teeth?
3. If not sugar, then what does cause cavities?
1. Any teeth—Cavities, which are a product of tooth decay, can affect nearly any tooth, whether it’s a primary or permanent one. For children, developing a cavity in a baby tooth could have consequences for the permanent tooth growing underneath it.
2. Enamel—The outer layer of your tooth, called enamel, is made of highly-resilient strands of minerals crystals, mainly calcium. The layer protects the body of your tooth from infectious oral bacteria, which could infect and destroy your tooth if allowed to run rampant.
3. Acids—It’s not sugar itself that’s a threat, but rather the oral bacteria that convert sugar into enamel-destroying acids. Every time you consume sugar and certain carbs, either in your meal or in your beverages, the bacteria clinging to your teeth can use the nutrients to create acids that wear down tooth enamel. Eventually, enamel will become compromised, bacteria will slip past it and infect your tooth, and a cavity will form as decay carves a destructive path through your tooth.
ABOUT YOUR SHREWSBURY DENTISTS:
At Modern Dentistry, Todd A. Pizzi, DDS, and Luciana Messina, DDS, are dedicated to providing high-quality cosmetic, restorative, and preventive dentistry services to patients and families in Shrewsbury, Worcester, North and South Grafton, Westborough, Southborough, Northborough, Boylston, Hopkinton, Millbury, and all surrounding communities. To schedule your next appointment, contact our office by calling (508) 842-6356 today.