Physiology of cavities

Posted on 6/6/2022 by Dr. Saklofsky
Physiology of cavitiesOur practice explains that the development of cavities involves four major components: the teeth, bacteria, sugar, and time. Cavities break down the tooth's enamel, a hard substance that forms the outer layer of the teeth. A thin film of bacteria called plaque forms on the outer surface of the teeth. These bacteria then interact with sugars from our food, producing acids. Prolonged exposure of the enamel to acid-producing bacteria results in cavities.

The process of cavity formation

The development of cavities begins with the failure to remove plaque from the enamel through regular brushing. The bacteria in the plaque accumulate over time and feed on the sugars in the mouth, producing acids. The acid produced by these bacteria then erodes the enamel making it weak.

With time, the enamel breaks, allowing the bacteria to access the softer tissues inside the tooth known as dentin. Since dentin is not as hard as enamel, the bacteria work faster, causing the cavity to spread faster.

Our dentists may fix the dental problem at this stage by cleaning out the bacteria and filling the cavity with dental fillings to prevent further damage to the tooth.

Spreading of bacteria to the pulp

Lack of intervention at this stage causes the cavity to continue spreading. When the bacteria reach the nerves and blood vessels in the tooth's pulp, you start experiencing severe pain. The pulp is the region inside the tooth containing blood vessels and nerves that connect the tooth to the blood and circulatory system of the body. You are at a high risk of developing dental infections and toothaches at this stage.

Please book an appointment with us to prevent cavities and treat them at early stages. Our practice uses x-rays to detect early signs of cavities and prevents them from developing.
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