Why Do I Get Cavities?
Well, the simple answer is because of acid. Many people think that as long as you don’t eat sugar you won’t get cavities. This isn’t entirely true, and I’ll tell you why.
Let’s start with defining what a cavity is. A cavity, by definition, is a hole. And a cavity in your tooth is exactly that; a hole. The reason we get these holes, or cavities, is because of acid in the mouth breaking down, or melting away, your healthy tooth structure. All of us have millions of bacteria (germs or bugs) in our mouths. There are many different types of bugs present, but only one causes cavities. You are not born with this bug; you acquire it during your life, most often from your mother.
This bug loves to eat all the same foods you eat and as soon as there is food present in your mouth, these bugs will find it, eat it and then ”poop” acid as a byproduct. Every animal has to poop after eating, which is the byproduct of eating, and bacteria are no different. (Even though it’s gross to talk about it, it’s important to understand what is happening in your mouth!)
So this bacteria “poop” sits on your teeth and because it’s acid, it starts to eat away at your healthy tooth structure. Over time, the bacteria produce more and more acid and that cavity starts to grow. The only way to stop it, or fix it, is to have your dentist remove the cavity and disinfect and neutralize the tooth.
Some people never get cavities and some people get lots and lots. This is due to how many bacteria you have in your mouth and how your body reacts to them. Cavities can form on brand new teeth, under fillings, under crowns and pretty much anywhere on a tooth. Check back for more information about how to prevent cavities!
Yours in good (dental) health,
Dr. Stefanie Shore
Sacramento Cosmetic Dentist