HOW IS A CAVITY FORMED? Written By: Dr. Ankita Shah, April 2020

Tooth cavity

“Cavity”, that's the word no one wants to hear at the dentist's office! A cavity is one of the most common dental problem. How do these cavities form and how can you prevent them? Here is what you need to know:


We all have bacteria in our mouth but not everyone gets a cavity. Ever wondered why?

When we consume sugary, starchy foods and sodas, the bacteria formed in our mouth is called Streptococcus mutans. Streptococcus mutans is the cavity causing bacteria. Colonies of bacteria together with food debris and saliva form a sticky substance called plaque. These bacteria trapped inside the plaque produce acids that lead to formation of cavities.

The greater duration the plaque stays in contact with the teeth the more is the damage. Over a period of time this plaque gets converted to tartar which has acid producing bacteria trapped in its body causing damage to the teeth on the inside. Thus it is very important to cleanse your teeth and rinse after every meal to remove the plaque formed on the tooth surface.

The tooth has an outer strong layer of enamel and inner layer of dentin. When the tooth is attacked with acid, the enamel layer protects from the acids penetrating deeper into the tooth. But if the sugar consumption continues without any maintenance of the teeth, a cavity formation starts as small. When the cavity begins to form, it is so small and virtually invisible to the eye. Eventually on the longer run as the acid is allowed to remain on the teeth, the cavity spot becomes a hole. The balance between acid production and prevention is what decides the cavity formation.

It takes time for a cavity to be formed. If the cavity formed is not treated it will progress and damage the pulp of tooth which has the nerves causing infection and pain. An initial cavity can be treated with a filling which on a later stage would need a root canal treatment.


Brush twice daily

Floss your teeth

Rinse your mouth after every meal

Visit your dentist 6 monthly

Reduce the consumption of soda and sugary and starch foods.

An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of care. Once you are diligent with your daily oral care we hope you’ll hear these two beautiful words “NO CAVITIES”

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Keywords : tooth cavity, tooth decay, cavity, tooth filling, how to prevent cavities