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Everyone dreads getting told they have a cavity. But do you know how cavities form?

Cavities form primarily due to acidic erosion of the enamel. Acids come from two primary sources: food and drink, and bacteria.

There are hundreds of kinds of bacteria that live in your mouth. These microflora feed on the sugars left in your mouth and on your teeth in the form of food particles. In the process of their life, the bacteria produce an acidic byproduct that coats the tooth and begins eroding the enamel. As this continues, eventually a hole forms. The hole in the enamel can expose the inner layers of the tooth, wherein is stored the nerve endings and other soft tissues necessary for the tooth to stay alive. As those tissues are exposed to infection, tooth failure can result.

Acids do not only come from bacteria. The foods you eat and the beverages you drink can contribute to cavity formation. Eating sticky, acidic candy is particularly damaging, as the acids and sugars both stay on the teeth, the latter feeding bacteria that erode enamel and the former eroding the enamel directly. Also, avoid acidic drinks like wine, energy drinks and sports drinks.

For more information or to schedule an appointment with our dentists, call Complete Dental Care in Martins Ferry, Ohio, at 866-471-4028. Our team looks forward to helping you make your smile shine!