Tooth decay and cavities are some of the most common health concerns people encounter worldwide, as per Mayo Clinic. Tooth decay can lead to the softening of the enamel and damage the tooth structure. And when it is left untreated for long, it develops into a hole or cavity in the tooth.
Now you know what cavities are. But do you know how to prevent this problem that leads to much pain, discomfort, and even tooth loss? Read on to learn about the major causes of tooth decay.
A cavity is a hole that develops in the tooth due to untreated tooth decay. It starts with plaque formation, the sticky film of bacteria that forms on the uncleaned teeth when saliva, food, and fluids combine in the mouth. Once plaque develops, the bacteria start producing acids that attack and wear away tooth enamel and lead to cavities. If cavities are left untreated, the acid and bacteria will attack the inner layers of the tooth and finally reach the tooth pulp.
The major factors that lead to the development of cavities are the following:
Sugary Foods and Drinks
Intake of too many sugary or acidic foods and beverages is one of the primary causes of tooth decay. When the sugar is left on the teeth without brushing for a long time, it can attract harmful bacteria that lead to tooth decay. Besides, if carbonated drinks are consumed in excess, they can cause enamel wear-down and lead to cavities.
Lack of good oral hygiene routine
Failing to brush for a minimum of two times daily for two minutes, floss, or rinse the mouth with an antimicrobial mouthwash can compromise oral health and cause cavities.
Lack of proper nutrition in the diet
An unhealthy diet and poor nutrition can result in tooth decay, cavities, and gum disease.
Not getting the needed fluoride from drinking water or supplements.
Tooth decay can indicate fluoride deficiency. Low fluoride exposure can cause the bacteria in dental plaque to flourish and allow them to produce harmful acids that weaken tooth enamel and cause cavities.
Saliva acts as a defense against tooth decay and cavities by neutralizing the acid in the mouth and washing off the food remnants from the teeth. When the salivary glands stop producing enough saliva, tooth decay and cavities can occur.
Acid reflux disease, where the stomach acid wears down the tooth enamel
When stomach acid gets its way up into the mouth, it can erode the enamel and increase the risk for decay and cavities.
At East Burn Dentistry, we offer comprehensive treatment for tooth decay and cavities. For more information, call us at 503-233-4871.