Tooth decay, also known as cavities, is the softening of your tooth enamel and refers to the damage of the structure of the tooth caused by acids that are created when plaque bacteria break down sugar in your mouth. If cavities are not treated, they can lead to toothaches, infection, and even tooth loss.
We want to make sure our patients know what tooth decay is and what the causes are. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of how cavities occur and what to watch out for.
1. Eating and Drinking
This is where it all starts. We have to eat and drink to stay alive, but this is one of the main causes of tooth decay. Food particles and carbohydrates can stay on your teeth until you brush and floss them, and even then some can still remain on your teeth. Food that clings to your teeth is a huge factor of tooth decay. Make sure you brush and floss your teeth regularly and thoroughly, especially after consuming sugary drinks and food.
2. Dry Mouth
Dry mouth can cause more plaque and bacteria buildup, leading to cavities. Saliva helps wash away plaque and can help buffer the acid. Make sure you are staying hydrated!
3. Poor Oral Hygiene
This one might be the most obvious, but poor oral hygiene can definitely cause tooth decay. Brushing and flossing your teeth daily, plus regular trips to the dentist are a must.
4. Plaque Formation
If not removed from your teeth, plaque can build on your teeth over time. It attacks the enamel of your teeth and can eventually cause holes in your teeth.
While tooth decay can be scary, the good news is that we are here for you. We can address the issue and find a solution for you in no time. If you think you’re experiencing tooth decay, contact us and we’ll get you an appointment in the near future.