How a cavity happens. Written in five different levels of understanding.
Second Grade - Bugs poop in your mouth.
Seventh Grade - Bacteria live on your teeth. They eat what we eat. Then, they excrete acid, which makes a cavity.
Twelfth Grade - Streptococcus mutans is the bacteria thought to be responsible for cavity formation. During the life cycle of this bacterium, it has to eat to live. As the sugars in your mouth are transformed by the bacteria into their food, that which is not needed is eliminated. The major ingredient in the excreta is an acid, which de-mineralizes the enamel of the tooth. When this process continues for sufficient time, a cavity occurs.
College Senior - Studies have shown that the flora and fauna in the human oral cavity may contribute to the formation of acids which can de-mineralize the enamel of the tooth through methods not fully understood. Taking from the most recent studies, it has been shown that when conditions are right, the formation of colonies of bacteria occur on and about the dentition. When this formation is complete, the colony benefits from many factors. The first being that nutritional uptake is optimized for the benefit of the colony. Intra-plaque tubules or channels form in the colony, which, through negative pressures, cause the refined carbohydrates to be brought into the colony zone of influence. This action nourishes the colony. During the metabolic processes that occur during normal absorption and distribution, the resulting non-nutrient portion of the uptake is eliminated through tubules or channels similar to the mechanism that permits uptake. Thus complete, the life cycle of the organism continues. As the effluent material is discharged into the zone of influence, it has the action of etching, or breaking the bonds of the constituent minerals, of which enamel consists. Thus acted upon, the mineral loses its structural integrity and the symptoms of caries result.
Doctoral Level - Bugs poop in your mouth.
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