What Are the Top Causes of Tooth Decay?
Tooth decay is one of the leading dental problems that can affect people of all ages. But how exactly is tooth decay affecting your mouth and general health?
Also known as cavity or cavities, tooth decay is a condition wherein the bacteria in the mouth produce acids which wear away the teeth. Left untreated, tooth decay can lead to larger problems like infections, pain and tooth loss.
When tooth decay sets in, it can be hard to notice the initial signs of damage to the teeth. However, when the problem progresses further, the decay can go to the innermost layers of the affected tooth down to its pulp. Extreme pain is often associated with the advanced stages of tooth decay because the pulp is highly sensitive due to the presence of blood vessels and nerves.
What are the top causes of tooth decay?
Poor oral hygiene
One of the leading causes of tooth decay is poor oral hygiene. Failure to properly care for your teeth through regular and proper tooth brushing and flossing can considerably increase your risk for tooth decay. Remember to brush your teeth at least twice a day, preferably after each meal. And if you are brushing your teeth, make sure that you brush for at least two minutes. You can floss your teeth either before or after brushing. As long as you floss daily you are on your way to preventing tooth decay.
Another leading cause of tooth decay is having a poor diet. If you regularly consume foods with high amounts of sugar, carbohydrates and acids, you are making your teeth more vulnerable to tooth decay. Healthier fare will not only help keep your body stronger and healthier. These can also make your teeth healthy enough to ward off dental problems like cavities.
How do poor dietary choices lead to cavities?
The bacteria in your mouth thrive on sugary foods. And after consuming these foods, the bacteria produce acids which coat the teeth. And it’s not just candies and sweet treats that can wreak havoc on your teeth. Even food and beverages like juices, which you might think are good for you, are capable of facilitating damage to your teeth.
Regular consumption of acidic foods and drinks can also lead to tooth decay. Apart from sodas, there are some foods like bread and fish which naturally contain acids. The bacteria in your mouth can also feed on these foods and beverages and the acid in these are enough to cause damage to your teeth by their own.
Dry mouth can arise due to a variety of reasons, the most common of which are diabetes, some types of medications and genetics. The saliva in your mouth can help keep plaque at bay and when your mouth is dry, you face greater risk of succumbing to cavities.
More popularly known as tooth grinding, bruxism can lead to tooth decay because the enamel of the tooth is worn down and stripped away due to the involuntary grinding of the teeth. This condition often arises due to stress.
Some people are simply more vulnerable to have tooth decay because of their genes.
Growing older does not necessarily make you more vulnerable to tooth decay. Rather, it is the combination of things that are usually associated with old age that may make you prone to suffer from tooth decay. These include the medications you use, gum recession, and even years of neglecting your teeth and gums.
At the first sign of tooth decay, seek immediate endodontic care. Through prompt action, you can prevent your problem from getting out of hand.