What Happens to Your Tooth When a Cavity Forms?

In general, you know that you’re supposed to brush your teeth twice a day and visit your dentist a couple times per year. Sticking to these guidelines can keep your teeth generally healthy, but it also makes it easy to get complacent. Maybe you’re brushing twice a day, but you’re not really focusing on all of the surfaces of your teeth or your gum lines. It’s important to understand what happens when a cavity forms on your tooth. If you know what you’re trying to prevent, then it will be easier to care for your teeth and gums at home in a productive way.

You Can’t See the Bacteria Building on Your Teeth

A visible cavity is the sign that there is already a significant problem with your tooth. Before you ever see the cavity, the process begins. Naturally occurring bacteria that you cannot see populate your mouth and cover the surfaces of your teeth. Brushing your teeth removes those bacteria and keeps your teeth clean. When you fail to remove or disrupt the bacteria, they begin multiplying. Feeding on the residuals of the food and drinks that you consume, the bacteria can form a plaque and continue to grow. The byproduct of this growth is what damage your tooth.

Bacteria Produce Harmful Acid as They Continue to Grow

The bacteria living on your teeth feed on the same food that you do. As the bacteria metabolize this food, they produce a corrosive acid as a byproduct. That acid will begin to wear down the enamel of your tooth. While your enamel has an incredibly hard mineral makeup, it will succumb to acid over time. The acid wears a hole in the tooth that the bacteria fill up. Eventually, as a plaque forms and your cavity grows, you will see a dark spot on your tooth. At this point, you’ll need a filling to restore the tooth.

When Your Dentist Sees That a Cavity Has Formed, He or She Will Remove the Bacteria and Fill the Tooth

A dental filling is so named because your dentist is literally filling in the cavity left behind by bacteria. When you visit your dentist to have a cavity treated, he or she will first remove the bacteria buildup and sterilize the infected area. Depending on the size of the cavity, your dentist will likely administer a local numbing agent. After the bacteria has been removed, your dentist will fill in the cavity with a substance like dental ceramic, dental resin, or metal composite. Each material has its own advantages and best practices that your dentist will refer to when selecting said material.

Treat Cavities at Melrose Dental Arts

Preventing cavities with active home care and regular dentist appointments is the best move you can make when it comes to the long-term health of your teeth. If you do develop a cavity, treat it right away at Melrose Dental Arts. With a tooth-colored filling, no one will even notice that you had a cavity. Schedule your dentist appointment at Melrose Dental Arts in Vista, CA by calling 760-724-9117.