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Common Causes of Dental Cavities

Common Causes of Dental Cavities

Cavities are caused by oral bacteria. The bacteria release acids, which break down the tooth structure and destroy the minerals that make up the protective enamel layer. Each day, these minerals are re-deposited in the enamel, but if the bacteria remove more minerals than are deposited, the tooth begins to decay. Anyone of any age can suffer from tooth decay, and untreated decay can lead to a cavity or infection and the need for a root canal.

Some common causes of tooth decay include:

1. Poor dental hygiene
Oral bacteria are found in plaque, and good dental hygiene is the best way to keep plaque off your teeth. If your brushing and flossing are rushed, infrequent or simply not done properly, it could be leaving you vulnerable to tooth decay.

2. Dry mouth
Saliva helps rinse bacteria from your teeth and helps remineralize them, so when your mouth is too dry, your teeth are more likely to decay. Brush, floss and take steps to keep your saliva flowing to combat any oral dryness.

3. An unhealthy diet
Sugar, starchy foods, acidic foods and drinks that are acidic or sweet can all cause your teeth to erode and decay. You do not have to avoid these foods altogether, but you might want to limit them.

4. Certain medications or health problems
Some medications and health problems can affect your oral health and your risk of tooth decay. Being aware of this can help you take the steps necessary to protect your smile.

Call our office today to learn more about preventing tooth decay or to schedule your next appointment.

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