Tooth decay or tooth cavity is one of the most severe dental conditions that can ruin your dental health if not dealt with immediately. It occurs when the bacteria living in your mouth makes acid that eats away at a tooth. If not attended to immediately, tooth decay can lead to infections and loss of teeth. It is important to note that tooth decay starts by eating into the enamel and it is hard to identify during the early stages unless a dentist examines you. With time, the acids will progress into the sensitive parts of the tooth, and that’s where a toothache starts.
But what are causes of the of tooth decay? Numerous reasons can explain why you are suffering from teeth cavity. Most of the reasons are just due to negligence, and with proper dental care, they are preventable.
10 Main Causes of Tooth Decay
1. Poor Oral Hygiene Practices
This is a leading cause of tooth decay. When we mention poor oral hygiene, it does not mean brushing, flossing, or washing your mouth regularly but doing it right. Brushing or flossing does not guarantee you a good dental health but has to do it right. At least brush your teeth twice a day- doing it in the morning and before sleeping in the night is the best practice but do it after a meal. Don’t do it in a hurry but set a little time (at least 2 minutes) to have it done properly. Teeth decay due to poor oral hygiene practice is preventable, and you only need to do it right.
2. Deep tooth Crevices and Enamel issues
These are two factors that need to be checked by a dentist to determine whether you are at risk of tooth decay or not. In most cases, individuals who have issues with their enamel are highly exposed to the teeth decay since the acid finds easy access to the deeper layers of the tooth. For individuals who have deep crevices in their teeth, they provide the bacteria and plaque with the perfect environment to grow. But both problems can be solved by applying dental sealant on the tooth so as to protect it from decaying.
3. Acidic Food and Drinks
The type of food that you eat might be more destructive to your teeth than what bacteria can do. It’s important to check the amount of acid in every food that you eat. But when we mention acidic food, we do not only mean soda as many would think but every food including the common ones that we eat. For instance, do you know that foods such as fish and bread contain acids that can destroy your teeth? Well, that’s true. Let your dentist check the acidic content of the common foods that you eat, particularly if you have enamel issues.
4. Sugary Foods
These kinds of food are the perfect fodder for the bacteria causing tooth decay. Bacteria in the mouth feed off of sugary food and the more you have it in the mouth, the higher is the risk of suffering from tooth decay. One sugary meal is enough to provide the bacteria with food to start producing the damaging acid. That’s why it’s recommended to brush your teeth after every meal so as to deny the plaque any chance of growth by removing any food material left on the teeth. Avoid eating candy, snacks and sugary drinks such as juice and soda.
5. Improper Nutrition
Just the rest parts of the body, your teeth require proper nutrition to grow and remain healthy. If you fail to get the right nutrients, you might develop problems such as weak enamel which will be prone to attack by acids. It’s therefore important to ensure that you have taken a healthy and a balanced diet. By eating healthy diet means avoiding foods that are high in sugar, carbohydrates and acids to prevent tooth decay.
6. Dry Mouth Issues
Dry mouth is another leading cause of tooth decay. Although saliva in the mouth mostly keeps the mouth wet, it also plays a huge role as an inhabitant to the growth of plaque on the teeth. That’s why people with dry mouth may be at risk of tooth decay due. However, a dry mouth may be caused by prescription medication, or it may be genetic. In some cases, medical conditions such as Diabetes could be the reason for a dry mouth. Brushing the teeth immediately after a meal would be the perfect way to reduce the chance of tooth decay in people with dry mouth condition.
7. Tooth Grinding
This is another condition that can lead to tooth decay of it’s not addressed in time. But many people who grind their teeth do not realise that they are doing it. It’s a condition that mostly occurs when persons are under immense stress or asleep. With a continuous grinding of the teeth, the outer layer of the tooth enamel is destroyed, and this gives the acid easy access to the deeper layers of the teeth. Use of “bite guards” and reduction of stress are two main ways of preventing enamel destruction.
A huge number of the people suffering from tooth decay has a lineage history. Most of them have inherited the condition, and they are like to pass the same to their children. This mostly includes inherited crevices or enamel issues.
Age is another major cause of tooth decay. As age catches up with you, things like prescription medication which may cause dry mouth, improper oral hygiene and recession of the gums are unavoidable. These are conditions that are likely to promote tooth decay.
10. Avoiding Dentist
Avoiding the dentist is one of the leading causes of tooth decay. Most of the tooth decay problems are easily preventable, but people won’t see the dentist until when they have a toothache. It’s highly recommended that you get checked at least every six months by a dentist. If there is any sign of tooth cavity, it can be dealt with before it’s too late.