How Fast Can a Cavity Damage Your Teeth? | Waltham Family Dentist

Waltham Family Dentist Describes Cavity Formation


Most patients dread hearing that they have a cavity. Luckily, dental cavity formation doesn’t happen in just a blink of an eye. It happens over time. That is one reason why dental checkups are only done at least every six months.  This article will help explain to you the process of cavity formation.


Cavity Formation

Cavity happens when tooth demineralization takes place. Demineralization occurs when the oral environment turns to an acidic state. The acidity or alkalinity of the environment is usually measured in pH. A score of 7 is deemed as normal and below 5.5 will be considered acidic.


Eating and drinking those that contain sugar and starches will create plaques around the tooth. Bacteria feeding on the plaques are the sources of acid. As more acid is produced, the faster the demineralization. However, regular and thorough brushing or prompt oral hygiene can stop cavity formation and will help restore teeth thus preventing immediate cavity formation.


The tug of war

As the alternate process of demineralization, remineralization will slow down cavity formation. On the other hand, poor dental hygiene will help speed up the formation of a tooth cavity. Plaques which are taken for granted and ignored on the teeth will eventually increase the oral environment’s acidity and will eventually lead to a full-pledge cavity.


Other factors that can delay the cavity development are the qualities of the enamel and dentin. The enamel can substantially remain stronger and more likely stand against cavity formation. Dentin, on the other hand, contains less mineral, and once cavity reaches this part of the teeth, you can expect a cavity in no time.


How fast can cavities form?

With all the factors mentioned and the constant demineralization and remineralization that takes place, it is quite debatable how long will a cavity fully develop. Prompt attention and regular oral care will not only delay cavity formation but will also help restore it to its normal state through remineralization.


Visiting your Waltham Family Dentist at least twice a year will help you get an idea of what is happening inside your mouth. Professional assessment can surely keep you safe from hearing the dreaded “oral cavity” diagnosis.