What Causes Cavities?

Blonde woman wearing a sweatshirt stands against a red brick wall and looks off anxiously, wondering about cavities

A cavity occurs when bacteria living in your mouth creates acid that eats away at your teeth, causing tooth decay. If left untreated, tooth decay can lead to infections, toothaches, and even tooth loss. Here are the leading causes of cavities, and some advice on how you can combat cavity-related dental issues.

Poor Oral Hygiene

Bad oral hygiene will inevitably lead to cavities. If you don’t brush and floss your teeth on a regular basis, you are more susceptible to developing cavities. You should brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time, floss at least once a day, brush your tongue daily, and visit us for biannual cleanings.

Unhealthy Diet

Do you eat a lot of foods that are high in sugar, carbohydrates, or acid? A diet like this can lead to a variety of dental problems down the road. An easy way to maintain healthy teeth and gums is to stick to a healthy diet. Bacteria in your mouth feed off the sugar in food and coat your teeth in a harmful, damaging acid that erodes your enamel and causes cavities. Drink plenty of water with every meal and avoid ultra-processed foods such as frozen dinners, store-bought cakes, sodas, and alcohol.

Dry Mouth

Saliva helps to inhibit the growth of plaque. If you have persistent dry mouth issues, you’re much more likely to have dental issues that lead to tooth decay. Common causes of dry mouth include genetics, medical conditions such as diabetes, smoking, alcohol, and certain prescription medications.

Teeth Grinding

Bruxism is another common cause of cavities. Tooth grinding frequently wears down the outer layer of your teeth, leaving your mouth more susceptible to decay.

Genetics & Advancing Age

Some causes for cavities are completely out of your control. Oftentimes, cavities can be linked to simple genetic inheritance or the normal aging process. If you inherit deep tooth crevices and enamel issues, you’re more susceptible to cavities. Furthermore, as you age, many of your prescription medications cause dry mouth and gum recession. An improper oral hygiene can also catch up with you over time.

We Can Help You Have Superb Dental Health!

If you have dry mouth or teeth grinding issues, Dr. Marshall can work closely with you to help prevent further damage and tooth decay. Our team can also help you improve your oral hygiene routine. If you’re concerned that you may have a cavity, don’t panic. At your next visit, we can check to confirm your mouth is healthy and cavity-free. Contact our office to plan your next appointment!

Schedule My Appointment