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What Creates Cavities


Posted on 6/6/2022 by Mark Bieber
What Creates CavitiesIt's not uncommon for patients to feel anxious about their regular dental visits, partly because they fear they might have a cavity. What can you do to determine whether you have a cavity or not? In order to feel empowered to take charge of your oral health, education is essential. Therefore, we'll explore how cavities form in more detail.

Understanding Healthy Teeth


Before we go into how cavities develop, it's a good idea to understand how healthy teeth are built. Most of us are most familiar with the outer layer. Enamel is the extremely dense outer coating of the tooth's top, which we can see with our eyes. Enamel is made up of a complex of a few distinct minerals, predominantly calcium, that is linked together by extraordinarily strong bonds to form a new mineral known as hydroxyapatite. However, the enamel does not completely cover the tooth's outer layer. The root of the tooth, which is buried by the bone socket and gums, is covered in cementum, a very thin, more brittle kind of tissue. Cementum is somewhat less dense than enamel because it aids in the attachment of the tooth to the ligament that holds it in place. Dentin is found beneath the enamel and cementum shells. Dentin is a significantly weaker and more porous material than enamel. Dentin makes up most of the tooth and has a sponge-like structure. You can see little hair-like branches of the nerve that gives that tooth its capacity to sense within all these minuscule holes called tubules that run through the dentin. The pulp is the deepest component of the tooth. That is where the tooth's nerve and blood supply are located. Damage to a tooth's pulp is typically a major issue.

The Start of Decay


Cavities enter the tooth from the outside, with very few exceptions. But isn't that incredibly hard enamel supposed to protect against cavities? Yes, but it is not unbeatable! Acid exposure is the leading cause of decay. This acid can originate from a variety of sources, but most cavities are caused by acid produced by bacteria. The bacteria in your mouth consume and digest the same items that you consume. They, like you, produce garbage once they have finished digesting. That trash is very acidic. Acids from bacteria and food break down the bonds that hold mineral molecules together in the enamel. A handful of broken connections aren't a big deal, and they may be restored by the mineral in your saliva, which is aided by fluoride in toothpaste and drinking water. However, if bacteria and acid are not removed and the mineral is not repaired, the enamel gets softer and weaker. That acid will gradually eat its way through the enamel and finally reach the dentin.

Respected As A Patient



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