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Understanding Common Causes of Cavities

One of the most common oral health problems that dentists encounter is cavities. Cavities occur in people of all ages, and although most are easy to treat with a filling, they can cause pain, bad breath and a persistent bad taste in your mouth, and the need for more extensive treatment, like a root canal, if they aren’t caught early. Here is a look at what causes cavities and how you can reduce your chances of getting them.

Plaque Formation

The first step of cavity formation is plaque formation. Plaque forms when the bacteria you have naturally in your mouth combines with the sugars in the food you eat. This creates a sticky substance called plaque that clings to the surfaces of your teeth. The mix of sugar and bacteria in plaque forms acids that will gnaw away at your enamel and make tiny openings all over the surfaces of your teeth. This allows the bacteria to get beneath the top layer of your teeth and begin to affect the inner layers.


Once this bacteria enters the inner layers of your teeth, it can begin to spread and grow, causing decay. This decay is a cavity. Once a cavity forms, it doesn’t stay static but rather continues to grow and spread throughout the affected tooth. Eventually, the decay may become so big that if your dentist removes it to give you a filling, it won’t leave enough of your tooth intact. In this case, you may need a root canal and a crown. The cavity can also move deep into the pulp of your teeth, which will also create the need for a root canal.


The best ways to prevent cavities is to brush your teeth twice a day and see your dentist for a checkup and teeth cleaning every six months, or more often if he or she recommends it. Limiting your intake of sugary foods and drinks will also help.

For teeth cleanings and other services, make an appointment at Glenwood Premier Dental. Call our dental office in Hazlet at (732) 497-3265 to find out more about all of our services.