Cavities are holes in the outer layer of your tooth, called enamel. In order to understand how your body defends against cavities, you need to know how cavities start in the first place.
Long story short, these holes form primarily due to acid erosion. There are bacteria that live in your mouth. They coalesce to form a sticky film called plaque (yes, that sticky creamy white stuff is made of living bacteria). The bacteria in the plaque eat the sugars that are in your mouth from leftover food particles and drinks.
The bacteria then convert those sugars into an acidic byproduct, which eats away at tooth enamel until it forms a cavity.
It is important to note that acids present in foods and drinks can also wear away at enamel and form cavities.
The body’s first natural defense against acid erosion is saliva production. Saliva delivers fortifying substances to tooth enamel, physically washes away acids and food particles, and neutralizes existing acids.
You can also fight cavities by brushing your teeth twice a day for 2 minutes each time. It is recommended that you wait for 30 minutes after eating before brushing. The acids in food softens enamel, and brushing in that state can actually damage your teeth.
For more information, call Dental Excellence of Kennesaw in Kennesaw, Georgia, at (770) 429-0955. Dr. Lisa Kirshenbaum and our team look forward to making your smile shine!