What Causes A Cavity?

A simple question, right? But to understand what causes a cavity, and what you can do to help prevent them, you need to know about tooth structure and what factors can weaken a tooth. Fortunately, that’s just what we’re going to do in today’s blog!


First, understand that a tooth is made up of several different layers. Enamel makes up the outermost layer. The hardest substance in the human body, enamel protects the tooth from injury or harmful bacteria. Underneath is the dentin, which comprises the majority of the tooth’s structure and surrounds the inner pulp, the nerve center that keeps the tooth alive and healthy. When a tooth becomes injured, bacteria can bypass the enamel and reach the dentin, allowing a cavity to form.

Sugary Foods and Drinks

In addition to injury, a tooth can become decayed when a diet of sugary foods and drinks, which encourages plaque buildup, weakens tooth enamel. The enamel then erodes and bacteria can reach the dentin. To help prevent decay, you can also cut back on foods and beverages high in sugar and other starches. Also, be aware that sports drinks contain a lot of acid, which can also lead to cavities. You should take steps to help remove food particles and bacteria, such as daily brushing and flossing, as well as routine dental cleanings.

Signs You Need Treatment

When should you see the dentist for treatment? Warning signs of decay may include an initial tooth sensitivity, especially to hot or cold temperatures. Later, you can develop a persistent toothache. Unlike aches caused by sinus pressure or changes in air pressure, these aches will not subside and may grow worse and the decay grows more severe. If you have any questions about identifying and treating cavities, then please contact our office today.

Does Your Tooth Ache?

At Snow Park Dental, Dr. Mark A. Miller can treat cavities and restore your tooth with tooth-colored fillings. Contact us today at 505-299-2979 to schedule a consultation at our Albuquerque, NM, office. We welcome patients and families from Rio Rancho, Corrales, Edgewood, Tijeras, Los Lunas, and all surrounding communities.