What Exactly Is A Cavity?

A cavity is literally a hole in a tooth. A tooth is composed of different layers. The outermost layer, the enamel, being the hardest structure in your entire body. For the damage to the tooth to be considered a cavity and require treatment from a dentist, the hole needs to have gone through the enamel into the underlying layer, the dentin. If it has not yet reached the dentin, the damage can be potentially stopped and even reversed without the need for a filling.

But what exactly causes this damage in the first place?

Cavities are caused by the enamel of the tooth dissolving due to acidic conditions in the mouth. The acid comes from food and drink that are directly acidic, such as coffee, soda, and citrus foods and drinks. In addition to this, carbohydrates feed the bacteria in the mouth and they, in turn, release acidic by-products that can cause damage to the enamel, also called tooth decay.