Ask Dr. Baruffi: What, exactly, are cavities?


We know one word nobody wants to hear when they visit Southcenter Dental is Cavity! That’s right, the dreaded cavity; but what exactly are cavities and how do they happen? A cavity is a hole that develops in a tooth when the tooth begins to decay. It’s important to get a cavity filled as soon as it’s detected so that it does not grow bigger.

So, what causes a cavity? A cavity is caused by plaque, a sticky substance that forms on the tooth as a result of germ and bacteria build-up. Plaque is acidic and as it clings to your teeth the acids eat away the outside of the tooth (also called the enamel) and a hole is formed.

Yes, cavities can be repaired by Dr. Baruffi, but here are a few simple steps you can take to prevent cavities at home:

• Brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste at least twice daily

• Gently brush your gums to keep them healthy (when choosing a toothbrush it is recommended to use soft bristles)

• Floss your teeth at least once a day to remove plaque and food that may be caught between the teeth where your toothbrush can’t reach

• Limit the amount of soda and sugary treats you eat/drink

• Be sure to visit our Tukwila office every six months – or as recommended – for a teeth cleaning and check-up

We also proudly serve Renton, Kent and the greater Seattle area.

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