Gregory B. Garrett, DDS's Wilmington NC dental office is pleased to provide professional quality dental treatment to patients in Wilmington NC, Hampstead, Murraysville, Myrtle Grove, Carolina Beach and the surrounging communities. We offer general, family, children's, cosmetic, adult and senior dentistry services for our patients.
Saturday, 6 April 2013
How does plaque cause a cavity?
The hard, outside covering of your teeth is called enamel. Enamel
is very hard, mainly because it contains durable mineral salts, like calcium.
Mineral salts in your saliva help add to the hardness of your teeth. Mineral
salts, however, are prone to attack by acids. Acid causes them to break down.
For an experiment about the power of acid, check out the Healthy
Teeth Dental Experiments page!
The plaque that forms on your teeth and doesn't get washed away by
saliva or brushed away by your toothbrush produces acid as it eats up sugar.
This acid is produced inside the plaque and can't be easily washed away by your
saliva. The acid dissolves the minerals that make your tooth enamel hard. The
surface of the enamel becomes porous - tiny holes appear. After a while, the
acid causes the tiny holes in the enamel to get bigger until one large hole
appears. This is a cavity.
It's important to see your dentist before a cavity forms so that
the plaque you can't reach with your toothbrush or floss can be removed.