What Causes A Cavity To Form?

Why do our teeth, which are coated in the hardest substance in the human body, develop cavities? In today’s blog, we’re looking at the causes of tooth decay and what you can do to protect your smile. We’re also discussing the treatments your El Paso, TX, dentists offer in our practice to treat the problem and return smiles to full function and beauty.

The Impact of Our Diet

When we consume foods high in sugar or starch, or drinks that contain high amounts of sugar, this leaves behind particles that cling to the tooth or become trapped between them. Bacteria will then begin to consume these particles, a process that elevates oral acidity and coats the teeth in a sticky layer of plaque buildup. Eventually, plaque and increased oral acidity begin to weaken and erode the protective layer of enamel, allowing bacteria to then reach the more sensitive and porous inner layers of dentin. A cavity forms, one that will grow in size and severity unless treated!

Poor Oral Hygiene

You can help protect your smile with daily oral hygiene habits, which remove stray food particles, controlling oral acidity and preventing serious plaque buildup. You should start your day by brushing your teeth for two minutes, reaching every available surface. We suggest using a toothbrush with soft bristles to avoid any inadvertent enamel damage should you brush too hard. Always pick a toothpaste with fluoride! At night, you should brush again and also floss up and down each side of every tooth to remove food particles a toothbrush cannot reach. These habits benefit people of all ages, from babies and toddlers to kids, teens, and adults. Also, consider cutting back on sugary foods and drinks, choosing healthier snack choices for your family and enjoying more glasses of water in lieu of soda or other sugary options.

Office Visits

While routine care helps lessen the impact of plaque, only a professional dental cleaning can remove this layer from your teeth. You should see our team every six months so we can examine your smile and see if you require treatment for common oral health issues, such as cavities or gum disease. We will also clean your teeth, removing the plaque and tartar that could increase the risk of cavities. You then leave with a bright and healthy smile! These visits should occur for adults, teens, and kid ages two and older. If you have any questions, then contact our team today to learn more!


At Sunny Smiles in El Paso, TX, we would love to help you and your loved ones enjoy healthy smiles free of tooth decay. If you have questions about our approach to restorative care then you can reach our East El Paso dental practice on 10039 Dyer St., at 915-859-7000!