What Causes Cavities?

What Causes Cavities?

September 9, 2022

It has been a long-held belief that sugar causes cavities. This belief is so prevalent that many parents limit sweets in their homes for the sole purpose of trying to avoid cavities. But the truth is that cavities can form regardless of how much or how little sugar you consume.

To help you better understand cavities and what causes them, let’s first discuss what happens to your teeth when you get a cavity.

What Are Cavities?

Cavities are formed when the enamel on your tooth breaks down. This breakdown occurs when plaque builds up, causing your tooth to decay, resulting in a cavity. Plaque is a natural part of your digestive process and is present from the moment you start eating.

It is a combination of saliva, fluids, and food – all of which come together to create the bacteria that form plaque. After the bacteria have been on your teeth for so long, it begins to eat away at your teeth, ultimately causing cavities.

If you allow the cavity to go long enough without the proper treatment, it can eventually expose the nerve endings in your tooth. When this happens, you are putting yourself at risk for severe pain and may require a root canal or extraction to relieve you of your discomfort.

So while sugar doesn’t directly cause cavities on its own, the bacteria that do cause them are present when you consume sugar and other foods. Acids are also created by your body to help with digestion, causing further demineralization of your teeth.

Preventing Cavities

Thankfully, there are ways to fight cavities. By getting into the habit of brushing your teeth at least twice every day, you can greatly reduce the likelihood of cavities.

You and your children can certainly eat sugary foods as long as you take the proper precautions. Practicing good oral hygiene will go a long way in keeping your teeth healthy. When you brush, your teeth get the minerals back in them that are lost while eating.

This is why it’s so important to maintain regular brushing and flossing. Do your part in preventive dental care, and you will be more likely to avoid getting cavities.

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