3 Conditions That Must Be Present For Cavities To Form

If you want to keep your teeth healthy and strong, your main goal should be to prevent cavities from forming. Cavities not only destroy teeth, but they can also lead to problems with your gums. The best way to prevent cavities from forming is to understand the way they develop. There are three main conditions that must be present for cavities to form, and you may be able to prevent cavities by understanding these conditions. Once you understand them, you may see how good oral care habits are vital for keeping decay away from your teeth.  


Your mouth is a breeding place for bacteria, because it is moist, warm, and often contains food and food particles. While there are numerous types of bacteria in your mouth, there is one type of bacteria linked to the formation of cavities, and this is called streptococcus mutans. This type of bacteria can be found in every person's mouth; however, the level of this bacteria varies from person to person.

To reduce the chances of developing cavities, you should aim to reduce the amount of streptococcus mutans in your mouth. You should realize that there is no way to eliminate all the bacteria from your mouth all the time, but good oral care habits can help reduce the amount of bacteria found inside your mouth.

Carbohydrates From Food

The second condition needed for cavities to form is carbohydrates, which is something found in many foods and drinks. The streptococcus mutans living in your mouth feed off carbohydrates, which are also referred to as sugars. While many people think that sugar causes cavities, it is really not that simple.

When you eat foods that contain sugar, you are feeding the bacteria in your mouth. The streptococcus mutans is the one bacteria that relies on sugar to live. When it finds sugar in your mouth, it consumes them. The problem with this is that as this process occurs, the sugars are converted into lactic acid.

The lactic acid is extremely harmful to your teeth as it has the ability to erode them, causing the outer parts of your teeth to disintegrate. At this point, cavities may begin forming on your teeth. This is something you could prevent by reducing the bacteria count in your mouth and avoiding sugary foods. If you want to eat sugary foods or drink sugary beverages, you should:

  • Limit the number of foods and drinks you choose
  • Eat or drink them in a short amount of time
  • Use a straw to help the sugars bypass your teeth

Taking the right steps can reduce your chances of developing cavities on your teeth.

Loss Of Enamel

The one thing that keeps your teeth strong and wards off cavities and other problems is enamel. Unfortunately, enamel is not something that reproduces. Your teeth naturally have enamel on them when they erupt, but enamel can be lost for a number of reasons.

Enamel can wear off your teeth from grinding your teeth, lack of oral care, and from lactic acid. One way to keep the enamel on your teeth strong is by using the proper amount of fluoride. Fluoride is a mineral that is known for strengthening the enamel on teeth, which is why dentists offer fluoride treatments during standard cleanings.  

By understanding the conditions needed for cavities to form, you might be able to stop this process from happening. If you can prevent cavities, your teeth will be stronger and healthier and will last a lot longer. To learn more, contact a clinic like Image Dentistry in your area today to schedule an appointment for an examination and cleaning.