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What is a cavity, exactly, and why is it bad for your smile? How does it form? If you know the answer to these questions, you will be better able to avoid cavities in your own smile.

A cavity is a hole in the enamel of your tooth, or the hard outer layer. If the hole becomes deep enough, it can expose the inner portion of your tooth, where the soft tissues and nerve endings are. This can lead to tooth pain, decay, infection or even tooth failure, which could result in having a root canal treatment or a tooth extraction.

Primarily, cavities occur because of acid erosion. This comes as a surprise to some people, as they associate sugar intake with cavity formation. Why do we hear so much about how sugar is bad for our mouths, if cavities form from acid? Read on!

There are bacteria that live in your mouth, which form a film over your teeth called plaque. These live bacteria feed on sugar (typically from leftover food particles in your mouth). They then create an acid, which coats the teeth and begins to erode the enamel. Acids from foods can erode the enamel directly, also.

It is best to limit both your sugars and acids, and to clean your mouth thoroughly on days when you decide to indulge.

For more information, call Foster Dental in Brooklyn, New York, at 718-673-8060. Dr. Anthony Foster and our team are happy to help you!