Bacteria in the mouth combined with the presence of sugars leads to tooth decay. The bacteria “eat” the sugars in the mouth, releasing acidic by-products that demineralize, or soften teeth. Over time, demineralization can cause a hole, or cavity in the teeth. That is why it is very important to brush your teeth for two minutes at least twice each day. By removing the bacteria and sugars from your teeth, you can arrest the demineralization and, possibly prevent the formation of cavities. Oftentimes, cavities are treated with fillings. Fillings are placed in the mouth by removing the decayed tooth structure, then filling the space with a durable composite resin (tooth colored filling). Very large cavities or cavities that cause extreme pain and sensitivity can sometimes require root canal treatment. This is necessary when bacteria from the cavity reach the pulp (center) of the tooth where the blood vessels and nerves are found.