what causes cavities

Diet and Bacteria

Cavity
Sugar and carbohydrates are used for fuel by bacteria in your mouth. A by-product they produce is acid. The acid dissolves the mineral of your tooth. They can be prevented by having a good diet, cleaning your teeth immaculately and seeing your dentist for cleanings at least twice a year. There are other important dental problems BEYOND cavities, so see a great dentist to have it all assessed.
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Acid erosion

Cavity
Cavities occur when sticky bacteria (strep mutans) attach to the enamel of your teeth and produce a concentration of lactic acid which dissolves the enamel and dentin at contact. The acid is produced as the bacteria ferment and metabolize sugar. The acid demineralizes and destroys the tooth structure.
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Bacteria Dentin Enamel Lactic acid Streptococcal infection Sugar Teeth Teething Tooth decay Caries

Recommended 2x/day

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Cavities are caused by many factors. Time+Bacteria+Diet+Genetics. So the amount of exposure, amount of carbohydrates/sugars, quality & quantity of brushing, as well as, your body's "chemistry" will have an effect on you getting cavities. The best defense is brushing and flossing 2x/day. Rinsing with a fluoride mouth wash and getting maintenance cleanings and exams from your dentist 2x/yr.
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Sugar

Sugar in and of itself is not bad for you. The presence of sugar for long periods of time in your mouth is the problem with cavities. Sugar present for a long time on your mouth combines with your saliva and breaks down into acid. the acid by-product from sugar causes cavities in your mouth
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Caries Dental caries Tooth decay

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Bacteria in the mouth

Diet
You need four things to get a cavity: a tooth, oral bacteria, carbohydrate (sugar), and time. If left undisturbed for long enough, bacteria will slowly eat a hole into the tooth. Since we can only control the bacteria and the carbohydrate, proper brushing, flossing, and a healthy diet are the best ways to prevent cavities. And don't forget fluoride. Obviously, you should also see your dental team regularly to help. The earlier and more often the better!
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Bacteria Carbs Cavity Diet Flossing Fluoride Healthy diet Luride Prevention Sugar

Food caught in teeth

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not cleaning your teeth well enough or often enough
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Caries Dental caries Tooth decay