Understanding How Black Tooth Decay Is Formed

 In Dental Hygiene

Cavities are holes in the teeth. Also known as caries or black tooth decay, these are the second most common health disorder in the United States based on the National Institutes of Health.

Cavities can develop at any age but are prevalent in the teeth of children and young adults. In fact, this is the common cause of tooth loss in young people.

People with a higher risk for cavities are low-income families, individuals undergoing radiation therapy, those living in places where drinking water is not fluoridated, tobacco users, senior citizens, and those who consume plenty of sugary and carbonated drinks.

How Cavities Are Formed

Cavities are the result of two factors – a high starch and sugar diet, and bacteria in your mouth. Naturally, bacteria live in your mouth. They become a problem in the case of poor oral care.

When your mouth’s normal bacteria combine with food particles and your saliva, they form plaque. Plaque is an invisible, sticky substance that quickly accumulates between your teeth and gums. Foods high in starch or sugar will make the plaque stickier. And when it stays on your teeth for several days, it becomes tartar (a harder substance).

Cavities will be formed if the bacteria in the tartar convert the sugar into acid, which demineralizes your tooth’s hard structure. Over time, this creates a soft spot or a hole in your tooth. When left untreated, the destruction continues. If your tooth’s enamel is worn away, the acid then reaches the next layer of your teeth, known as the dentin. The bacteria and acid work their way through your tooth’s pulp, a bigger hole will be created.

Prevention of Black Tooth Decay 

Good Oral Hygiene 

Good oral hygiene will include brushing your teeth for two minutes at least twice a day and flossing daily. Moreover, this includes having a dental exam annually and having your teeth professionally cleaned every six months.

Diet Change

Prevent cavity formation by reducing the amount of sugar in your diet, especially sugary drinks. If eating sticky foods can’t be fully avoided, you should brush your teeth or rinse your mouth immediately after eating. Dr. Rudi As-Sanie also suggests incorporating chewy or sugary foods like candy into a meal instead of eating them as a snack. Avoiding constant drinking of sugary beverages, limiting sucking candy, and minimizing snacking can all help.


Lastly, another way of preventing cavities is to use fluoridated substances like drinking fluoridated water or taking it as a supplement. Dental Reflections Dublin recommends using a fluoride mouthwash or toothpaste. During routine dental visits, topical fluoride is usually applied.

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