Our teeth are constantly being damaged and repaired. Damage occurs as acids in the mouth dissolve the minerals necessary to make up the tooth. We call this process de-mineralization. The process of repair, called re-mineralization, occurs as minerals present in your food and water, tooth paste and mouth rinses, and saliva recombine with your tooth to repair areas damaged by acids. De-mineralization and re-mineralization are in a constant tug of war where anything that shifts the balance in favor of damage will result in dental caries. Once de-mineralization has weakened the structure of the tooth enough, the tooth crumbles in forming a cavity. At this point bacteria may enter the tooth and cause further infection of the tooth.