Why do cavities form?

When it comes to the formation of cavities, there are several misconceptions. Some believe that sugar is the only culprit, while others believe that poor oral health habits can contribute. By working with Dr. Mike Wygant and his team in Camarillo, CA, many patients will learn more about dental decay and how to keep their smiles healthy and free from cavities. We focus on educating patients, so they have the knowledge to make the right decisions regarding their oral health care. Below are some of the more frequently asked questions regarding cavities and their formation.

What is a cavity?


Dr. Mike Wygant describes a cavity as a hole in the natural tooth enamel. It is an area of decay that can become large and deep, resulting in the infection of the dental pulp inside of a tooth. A cavity can be highly problematic to the point of requiring root canal therapy to save the tooth from extraction.


What are the signs of cavity formation?


Many patients who have a cavity may experience discomfort when enjoying foods high in sugar or foods and beverages that are extremely hot or cold. Others might develop a toothache that becomes extremely problematic, causing them to seek assistance from a dentist and often requiring root canal therapy. This is because the cavity runs deep and infects the dental pulp. Cavities can be spotted by a dentist in the earliest stages, and with effective diagnosis and treatment early on, they can be addressed in a way to keep them from becoming more serious.


Who is at risk of cavities?


All patients are at risk of developing cavities if they are not prudent about taking care of their smiles and eating the right foods.


What are the causes of cavity formation?


Sugar contributes to the formation of cavities. Foods with sugars and starches often provide food for harmful bacteria in the mouth. The bacteria convert these sugars into acids that can eat away at natural tooth enamel and cause the formation of a cavity. Sugar alone is not the cause, and this doesn’t mean that patients can’t enjoy sugary treats from time to time. It is recommended that if you are eating a lot of high sugar or high carbohydrate foods that you brush your teeth immediately after to keep them from converting to acid.


How do I prevent a cavity from forming?


The first step in preventing cavities is visiting the dentist regularly for dental cleanings and examinations, preferably every six months. At-home routines such as a low-sugar diet, brushing after meals and flossing at least once a day can also help keep cavities from developing. These habits also protect the smile from problems such as periodontal disease, an infection that can significantly damage the structures of the smile, including the jaw bone, soft tissues, and teeth. When patients improve their diet and spend more time focusing on their oral health at home, they will prevent many common dental problems that may develop.


How do I schedule a dental cleaning and exam in Camarillo, California?


Dr. Mike Wygant and his team in Camarillo believe in providing preventative dental care and educating patients on protecting their smiles from cavities and periodontal disease. If you are interested in learning more about the importance of routine dental care and monitoring for the early signs of problems, it is time to request a visit to our practice. We are conveniently located at 5301 Mission Oaks Boulevard, Suite B, and can be reached to book an appointment at (805) 482-6389. Our state-of-the-art office is open to new and returning patients and families.

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