What is a Cavity and What Causes Tooth Decay?
What to Know About Cavities and Tooth Decay
While cavities are very common dental problems in both children and adults, they can be prevented. Find out what you need to know to stay ahead of cavities.
What Exactly Is a Cavity?
It’s actually pretty simple. Decay (or softening of enamel) happens over time and the result is a cavity-a defect left in the tooth. Teeth are covered with a hard protective top layer called enamel. But once the enamel is weakened by acids produced by bacteria, a pit or cavity is formed in or on the tooth surface.
What Causes Cavities and Tooth Decay?
While it’s ultimately acid-producing bacteria that leads to cavity formation, the most common cause of bacterial growth is inadequate daily brushing and flossing. Certain foods (carbs) and sugary drinks contribute to cavity formation-bacteria metabolize these carbohydrates and sugars and produce cavity-forming acids.
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