What are the most common causes of tooth decay? Tooth decay or cavity is a dental problem that means tiny holes in your teeth. Initially, the cavity is a small hole in the enamel, the outer covering of your tooth, and it gradually increases in size. At first, you won’t realize the formation of the cavity until it reaches the dentin. Dentin is the middle layer and has tiny holes leading to the tooth pulp. When the cavity extends to the dentin, you will experience sensitivity and pain. Furthermore, the tooth decay process increases as bacteria causing the cavity will gradually multiply. Regular dental checkups will help you identify tooth decay in the initial phases. This helps you prevent any negative consequences and tooth loss.
In an article, Mayo Clinic suggests that tooth decay is a common health condition around the world. You can develop cavities at any age. Infants, teenagers, adults, and the elderly are all at risk of developing a cavity.
The first line of defense to protect your teeth from tooth decay is prevention. But, before that, you need to know the common causes of the cavity. If you’re aware of what can cause a cavity, you can make a proper oral hygiene routine to prevent dental issues later. In the following text, we will discuss some common causes of tooth decay along with tips to avoid forming new ones.
Causes of Tooth Decay & Cavities
Tooth decay is the result of sticky food that clings to the outer layer of teeth. It is the combination of bacteria, acid, saliva, and food particles. We all have bacteria in our mouths. When we consume sugary food, bacteria in the mouth turn it into acid. So, when food sticks to your tooth, bacteria replace it with acid. As the enamel, the outer covering of your tooth reacts with acid, the minerals and protein particles corrode. Now, if you get to the beginning of the process, you will realize that it all starts with the sticky foods. Therefore, doctors and endodontists recommend patients brush twice a day. When you brush your teeth daily, you reduce any chance of acid formation on your enamel by limiting bacteria. However, if you’ve already developed tooth decay, you can visit Bryant Park Endodontics for an instant solution. Here are a few causes of tooth cavities:
1. Sugary Food
The first and the most common cause of root decay are sugary food including, carbonated drinks, chocolates, and candies. Sugary foods are not the actual problem of the tooth decay, but when they stick onto the enamel, it attracts bacteria. The longer you left sticky food on your teeth, the more severe the tooth decay would be. Many people, without realizing the consequences sleep without brushing their teeth. As a result, bacteria keep consuming the trapped food on your tooth and cause tooth decay.
Enamel is the outer layer of your tooth made up of calcium phosphate and other minerals. Until now, we have a clear understanding that bacteria convert sugary food into acid. Subsequently, the acid also reacts with leftover food on your enamel and breaks down carbohydrates. As a result of the acidic reaction, the minerals from your teeth form up a sticky and colorless film. This weakens the enamel, increasing the risk of tooth decay. The film attracts microbes, forming a community with millions of bacteria. Because plaque develops a layer over your teeth, it can cause internal tooth decay and even damage the bones supporting your tooth. Besides tooth decay, plaque also increases the risks of other gum diseases, such as gingivitis and dementia.
3. Dry Mouth
Dry mouth is a condition wherein the salivary glands in your mouth stop producing saliva. Saliva is essential to maintain oral health. Saliva acts as a defense mechanism that neutralizes the acid, preventing tooth decay. Dry mouth can cause serious dental health issues, including tooth decay. Saliva washes off the excessive food on your enamel. Limited saliva production can cause food remnants to stay on the tooth.
4. Poor Oral Hygiene
Oral hygiene is not something that you can compromise. Your oral health maintains your overall body health. If you do not brush away the food particles from your teeth, you are at the risk of developing tooth decay. Therefore, brush your teeth twice a day, especially before going to bed.
5. Acid Reflux Disease
It is important to maintain the pH level inside your mouth. An increase and decrease in the pH level can cause various health problems. The tooth enamel is vulnerable at a pH level of 5.5. Upon reaching that level, the enamel starts dissolving and deteriorating. The enamel will completely break down when it reaches a lower pH level. Saliva plays an important role in maintaining the pH level in our mouth. Change in pH level can cause tooth decay as it eliminates the outer protective layer of your tooth.
Causes of Tooth Decay: Conclusion
As you can see, numerous conditions can cause tooth decay. The only solution is to maintain excellent oral hygiene. Brushing your teeth with fluoride is effective in preventing tooth decay. But what if you’ve already developed tooth decay? In this case, you need to visit a professional endodontist and let them inspect your oral condition.
Give us a call and make an appointment with experts from Bryant Park Endodontics.