Cavity is not a sudden outbreak. It does not form overnight. How long does it take for a cavity to form? Does it form in a day or a week or a month? Cavity formation may vary according to the condition or contributing factors present in the mouth. A combination of multiple contributing factors can accelerate the process of cavity formation.
Does everyone get cavities?
Factors that increases the process of cavity formation are
- The location where the cavity form
Enamel is denser than the dentinal layer of tooth. Enamel has more mineral content that
is inorganic content is present more in enamel than in dentin. So bacteria can attack the dentin layer easier than enamel. That is the reason why the spread of caries is faster in dentin.
- Anatomical factors
Teeth with deeper pits and fissures are at higher risk for developing cavities.
- PH of the saliva
Normally pH of the saliva is basic whenever the pH goes below the normal that is when the
pH is acidic demineralization of enamel will get accelerated.
- Acid attack
Acid attacks can erode the enamel layer of teeth. Thus Paving the way for the bacterial attack.
- Frequency of acid attack
Continuous intake of acidic food and drink can cause erosion of enamel easily.
- Thickness and quality of the enamel
If the enamel layer is thin then the bacterial attack will be faster due to less mineralized layers.
- Poor oral hygiene
It leads to the accumulation of plaque on the surface of the teeth. This plaque can act as a colony for
bacterial attack thus initiating the process of cavity formation
- Unhealthy diet
Dietary intake of more sugar can cause an increased risk of cavity formation. Drinking too much of carbonated drinks can cause erosion of the tooth Surfaces .chocolates and biscuits can stick to the pits and fissures of the tooth. It is not that easy to remove sticky food particles from the tooth surface.
- Dry mouth
saliva helps in washing off food particles n it also contains antimicrobial agents. Without
normal salivary function frequency of cavity will increase
Also Read : what does a cavity look like
Is it possible to reverse cavities?
It is difficult to reverse once formed cavities. If the salivary pH is normal or slightly alkaline, the mineral content of the saliva can get deposited to the cavities thereby promoting remineralization. It is possible only in case of initial carious lesions.
We can also promote remineralization by using fluoride containing toothpaste.There is chance of remineralization only in patients with good oral hygiene
Are cavities contagious?
Mostly cavities are not contagious but there is a chance that bacteria circulating in the saliva can reach all the teeth thus accelerating the risk of cavities .
Cavities present on the proximal surface of the teeth will result in food lodgement between the adjacent tooth. Thus leading to the risk of developing cavity in the adjacent tooth also.
How can we prevent cavities?
- Maintain good oral hygiene
- Avoid sticky food
- Rinse your mouth after every meal.
- Quit smoking
- Drink plenty of water to avoid dry mouth
- Limit sugar-containing foods and acidic drinks.
The Bottom Line
Time and frequency matter for a cavity to progress. If you follow proper oral hygiene measures you itself can reduce the risk of cavities. Do regular dental check-ups to identify cavities at an earlier stage