The top layer of the tooth is a tissue called “enamel.” Enamel begins to deteriorate when a bacteria called Streptococcus mutans, which grows on the teeth, forms an acid that decays a hole in the tooth. It then infests the tooth, continuing the decay inward. More types of bacteria grow inside the cavity, decaying the tooth even more, risking spread of the infection to the other teeth and also other parts of the body including the bone, heart, and brain.
Early Childhood Caries
is a disease that affects children 5 and under. The decay rate of baby teeth is faster than that of adult teeth and needs to be treated immediately. Early Childhood Caries (ECC) is most commonly caused by prolonged use of a bottle with juices, or milk, and prolonged breastfeeding. Cavities can also form from constant snacking on carbohydrates.
Foods that cause cavities
Carbohydrates from wheat, corn, potatoes, and other sugars, become glucose in the mouth. Glucose feeds the bacteria that cause cavities and the bacteria then produce an acid that wears away the tooth enamel (the hardest tissue in the body).