Main Street Dental Centre – Cavities: The causes and ways to prevent them!

Acidic and sugary foods cause the demineralization of your tooth. Demineralization is the wearing away of the of the layers of your tooth. 

The tooth is made up of three layers: Enamel, Dentin, and Cementum. Enamel is the outer layer, and it is the hardest layer. Dentin is the next layer, and it isn’t as hard. Finally, the cementum covers the root. 

When we eat sugar, bacteria in our mouths utilize the sugars as a food source, excreting acid as its by-product. Every time you have a drink of a surgery drink such as pop or juice, or your double double coffee, your mouth will then be acidic for 30 minutes. People who tend to sip on drinks all day are constantly causing their mouths to be acidic, leading to increased chances of tooth decay. 

Fluoride is used in dental products and drinking water because it creates stronger bonds within and on the outside of the tooth. As children, when we ingest small quantities of fluoride, the fluoride gets incorporated into the teeth, making them stronger and more resistant to cavities.

Once the teeth are formed, topical fluoride strengthens the outer surface of teeth and can even reverse small cavities. 

As a cavity grows, it breaks through enamel and reaches dentin, at which point there is no reversing this process. At this point the cavity needs to be removed physically. Once the infected part of the tooth is completely removed, a filling is placed to make the tooth whole again.

If cavities are left too long, they can reach the internal part of the tooth where your nerve or pulp is. If the nerve gets infected with bacteria, they will travel down the root, likely causing an abscess within the bone. This abscess will then lead to bone loss within your jaw. At this point the tooth can be saved with a Root Canal Treatment, where the infection is removed and a filling is placed in the nerve canal. Alternatively, the tooth can be extracted. 

In conclusion, to help prevent cavities, you can start with these steps:

1. As with anything, moderation is key. If you like pop, you don’t have to give it up entirely. Just try to limit consistency and duration. Have one with your meal,  and try not to sip on it all day long. 

2. Use a fluoride toothpaste and/or rinse, such at Listerine Total Care.

3. Rinse your mouth out with a little bit of water after meals and after eating sugary or acidic foods.

4. Make sure you brush your teeth thoroughly two times a day, for a minimum of two minutes per time!

If you have any questions, please call us or book a free 15 minute consult – 705-788-0404 … or for more information visit the Main Street Dental Centre website.

Dr. Christopher Pearce grew up in Muskoka, attending V.K. Greer and Huntsville High School. He then traveled to Virginia for his Degree in Biology. From there Dr. Pearce attended University of Detroit Mercy School Of Dentistry. Finishing his training in 2012 Dr. Pearce worked in the heart of Flint Michigan helping low income families with government-funded dental care. In November 2013 Dr. Pearce returned to his hometown of Huntsville to take over Main Street Dental Centre. Since his return Dr. Pearce has enjoyed sponsoring many sports teams and playing hockey in the local men’s league. Dr. Pearce met his wife Meagan in the Spring of 2014 and they were married August 13th 2016. They recently have had the joy of their first son born August 19th 2017, Clark Christopher Pearce.