You know that cavities are harmful to your teeth. They’re the pockets of bacteria that cause little dark spots and require fillings. Over time, cavities can cause you pain and disrupt your smile. You know you want to avoid developing cavities, but do you actually know what cavities are? Understanding what cavities are and what they do to your teeth can help you to better prevent them from causing damage. Here’s a simple explanation of how cavities form and what you can do to stop them.

A Cavity Forms When a Concentration of Bacteria Develop on the Surface of Your Tooth

Bacteria are naturally present in your mouth. They grow on your gums and teeth. When you brush your teeth and floss, you physically remove the bacteria from these surfaces. Bacteria that is not removed can continue to grow, using the debris of food and nutrients in your mouth as an energy source. As the bacteria concentrate and continue to grow, they form a sticky collective known as plaque. Plaque can be difficult to remove, and over time, the acid produced by plaque will wear away at the enamel of your tooth. When your enamel wears away, a hole — a “cavity” — is formed.

Holes In Your Teeth Lead to Structural Problems

The enamel of your tooth is an ultra-hard mineral layer that protects the rest of the tooth from physical and biological harm. A hole in that enamel can pose a serious problem. For one, cavities cause structural problems. Damage to your enamel can cause a weakening of integrity, leading to pain. Holes also open you up to serious infection. If you don’t treat a cavity, the bacteria on your tooth will work its way beneath the enamel and into the dentin and pulp layers. Infection can spread quickly here and take over your whole tooth.

Dental Fillings Repair Integrity and Prevent Infection

When you develop a cavity on your tooth, a dental filling can solve the problem. Your dentist will want to remove the plaque and bacteria from your tooth. Once your dentist does so, the threat to your tooth isn’t over. You still need to repair the cavity left behind. Your dentist will use a tooth-colored material or metal amalgam to fill in the hole. Fillings set quickly and give you back the function of your tooth. Once you receive a filling, you can feel confident in your bite and your smile once more.

Treat Your Cavities at Greenhaven Family Dental

If you have developed a cavity on your tooth, treat the condition right away. Filling a cavity now can spare you the trouble of a more extensive treatment later. Make an appointment to treat your cavity at Greenhaven Family Dental. Call the office in Baxter, MN at 218-454-0523 and schedule your treatment today.