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No one wants to hear they have a cavity. Most of us were taught at a young age that brushing and flossing is how we prevent cavities. But what if you maintain five-star dental hygiene habits at home and still get told by your dentist that you have cavities? If you can’t blame your tooth decay on poor brushing and flossing, it may be time to investigate other reasons for your frequent cavities.

How Do Cavities Develop?

Dental cavities, also known as dental caries, are a type of tooth decay caused by the interaction between certain types of bacteria and the sugars and starches in the food we consume. Here is a breakdown of how a cavity develops in a tooth:


There are several types of bacteria that naturally live in our mouths, some of these bacteria can trigger the formation of cavities when combined with other substances.


When bacteria mix with food particles and saliva, they form a sticky film called plaque that coats the teeth. If plague is not removed regularly with your toothbrush, it can harden into tartar.


Harmful bacteria in the plaque feed on sugars and starches that we eat. In the process, it produces acid as a waste product, which is powerful enough to dissolve the minerals in your tooth enamel.

Enamel Erosion

Over time, the acid produced by bacteria can erode the enamel and create a hole or cavity in the tooth. If left untreated, the cavity can grow larger and reach the underlying dentin layer, which is softer than enamel and more susceptible to decay.

Common Culprits to Consider

You don’t have to have be a candy addict or even have a sweet tooth to get cavities. Instead, consider the acids that may be in your mouth throughout the day. When acids combine with sugar, the increase for tooth decay increases exponentially.

If you get cavities as an adult despite your diligent oral hygiene routine, you may want to consider the following sneaky contributors to tooth decay:

  • Sodas
  • Sports/Energy Drinks
  • Acid Reflux
  • Dry Mouth

At Peninsula Cosmetic & Family Dentistry, we value the importance of taking a comprehensive approach to cavity prevention, especially if you are an avid brusher and attend your routine dental exams. We help patients solve their frequent tooth decay issues by addressing cavities at the root cause. This can mean working with your primary care doctor to get a specific medical condition under control or cutting back on your daily soda habit. Cavities are almost always preventable. Call our Charleston dental clinic today to schedule your appointment.

Posted on behalf of Peninsula Cosmetic & Family Dentistry

538 Savannah Hwy
Charleston, SC 29407

Phone: (843) 507-5481
FAX: (843) 577-4653

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Meet Our Doctors

Dr. James B. Wisner

Dr. James B. Wisner was raised in Charleston and attended Porter-Gaud High School. He graduated from The Honors College at The University of South Carolina in 1996 and received his D.M.D. degree in 2002 from the Medical University of South Carolina’s College of Dental Medicine. Dr. Wisner served in Las Vegas, Nevada and Spangdahlem, Germany…

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Dr. Caitlin McPherson

Dr. Caitlin McPherson was born and raised in Charleston, South Carolina. A graduate of Porter Gaud High School, she went on to receive her Bachelors of Science from Clemson University’s Calhoun Honors College. Dr. McPherson earned her Doctorate of Dental Medicine from the Medical University of South Carolina’s College of Dental Medicine. She is an…

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Dr. Luke E. Severance

Dr. Luke E. Severance

Dr. Luke E. Severance believes dentistry goes far beyond just treating teeth – it’s about building lasting relationships and making a genuine difference in the lives of his patients. Dr. Severance was raised in Florence, South Carolina and graduated with summa cum laude from the University of South Carolina. He went on to receive his…

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Now, patients who are uninsured can STILL save on general, preventative, and even ortho services!


538 Savannah Hwy
Charleston, SC 29407

Phone: (843) 507-5481
FAX: (843) 577-4653

Opening Hours

Monday - Thursday 8am - 5pm
Lunch break: 1pm - 2pm

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