What Exactly Is a Tooth Cavity?

A tooth cavity is a hole in a tooth caused by decay when harmful bacteria can enter a tooth. Healthy teeth are covered with strong tooth enamel, but each day the enamel is attacked by acid produced by these harmful bacteria. Eventually the acid weakens the enamel so bacteria can enter the tooth, infecting it as they attack the next layer of the tooth called dentine, creating a cavity. Dentine is much softer and more easily destroyed, and unless the cavity is filled, the infection eventually reaches the tooth nerve. An infected tooth nerve can be very painful!

Preventing Cavities

Luckily, good professional dental care, including checkups and cleanings can help to prevent cavities, and it’s important to care for your teeth between dental visits. When you brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss once-a-day, it removes most harmful bacteria, reducing your risk of tooth decay. Make sure you use fluoride toothpaste as this helps to harden tooth enamel, providing just a little extra protection. Your food choices make a difference too, and especially if you like to snack between meals. Every time you eat, harmful bacteria thrive on the leftovers and acidity levels in your mouth increase, so if you snack frequently, your mouth is acidic for longer.