A trip to the dentist should be a pleasant experience. That’s what we want for our kids: happy associations with that twice-annual visit to Dr. Case. Nothing ruins the good feeling at a dental visit faster than the dreaded words, “I found a cavity.” A cavity in a baby tooth is bad news, but not the end of the world. A cavity in a newly erupted permanent tooth is more cause for concern.
So what is a cavity? How do they form? And, what can we do to keep them from ever getting started?
What is a Cavity?
Simply, a cavity, also known as dental caries, is a hole in the tooth enamel. A tooth has an outer layer of hard enamel surrounding an inner layer of dentin, which covers the tooth pulp, which contains blood vessels and a nerve. A cavity forms when the enamel is weakened then fails and no longer covers the dentin.