Cavities form when an acid demineralizes your teeth's enamel. This acid usually comes from the bacteria found in sugar, which gives of lactic acid. When this happens the tooth's hydroxyapatite (which is made of Calcium and Phosphate) starts to break down below the enamel layer's surface.
You'll notice that this has happened because it will look like you have a "white spot" on your tooth. The enamel's surface is still intact, though.
Does Dentin Heal if you Have a Cavity?
Now that you know how a cavity forms, you may be wondering if it's possible for the dentin to heal. If you discover the cavity early on, "yes" you can heal it. You'll need to visit our office for a nano-hydroxyatite and fluoride treatment right away though.
If you don't see us soon enough and the cover of the white spot is no longer there, the cavity starts looking like a hole. Now the only option that's available is to fill the cavity with a restorative (filling) material.
It's also important to understand that if you get a cavity that's caused by dental decay it can't heal. This is because your enamel is fully formed when the cavity occurs. From there it simply continues to deteriorate.
You should also know that the deeper part of your tooth where you have dentin also can't heal if you get a cavity. The dentin can produce a protective barrier though. This will help keep the front of your cavity from advancing to the pulp that's located inside of your tooth.
Your cementum also can't heal. This is another mineralized part of your tooth that's responsible for using periodontal fibers to attach your tooth to the bony socket in your jaw.
When you get a cavity, the best thing you can do is make an appointment with our office right away, so we can take care of it for you.