As you consume sugary foods and beverages throughout the day, a sticky residue builds up on the teeth. Plaque, a sticky form of bacteria, is then attracted to the sugars on your teeth. As the
bacteria grows on your teeth, they excrete an acid that can deteriorate the tooth’s enamel, which over time begins to break down. This breakdown is what creates a cavity.
Cavities occur more frequently in children but can become an increasing concern with age as well. As the gums recede, it exposes weaker portions of the teeth that are more susceptible to cavities. This gum recession can also expose the roots of the tooth and any damage to the root may lead to tooth loss.
Cavities also form in older adults around fillings or dental work. This can be because the tooth has lost a large amount of enamel that younger individuals have not, but may also be attributed to the lack of modern dental work. Older dental work typically doesn’t hold well around the edges and exposes the underlying tooth to damage and decay.