Dental cavities are one of the primary oral health conditions faced by both adults and children. Often, you can recognize a dental cavity in your teeth as a black hole. There are numerous causes of dental cavities. But the leading cause of a dental cavity is sugar. Typically, dental cavities form when there is an accumulation of bacteria in one’s mouth. More often than not, bacteria get caused by sugary foodstuffs and poor oral hygiene practices. In this article, we take a look at the major causes of dental cavities today.
How can I identify a dental cavity?
But first, let’s look at the signs and symptoms of a dental cavity. During the early stages of cavity formation, you rarely experience any symptoms. But after some time, some of the signs you may have include:
- General toothache. Mostly, you may feel pain out of nowhere and for no apparent reason. This may be the first indicator of a tooth cavity.
- Having sensitive teeth. Whenever you take something hot or cold, you might feel uncomfortable. Also, your teeth may react to certain sounds.
A dental cavity appears as a visible black hole on the tooth. Once you see this hole, seek professional help from a dentist.
The major causes of tooth cavities
Unhealthy foods and drinks
When you consume certain foods, they tend to get stuck on your teeth. in particular, candy and other sugary foods stay on the tooth enamel for quite some time. So, if you don’t clean your teeth immediately after taking something sugary, plaque gets formed. Plaque comes about when sugar comes into contact with the teeth. It builds up and wears out the tooth enamel. In turn, a hole or cavity gets formed on your tooth surface. So, avoid chocolate, sweets, ice cream, and soft drinks with sugar. Aside from sugary foods, crunchy foods also cause tooth cavities.
In case you didn’t know, continually eating snacks and foods increases your chance of getting dental cavities. Once you consume food frequently, more acid gets produced in the mouth. The acid is not suitable for your teeth. It gradually wears away the tooth and can cause a dental cavity. So, drinking your soft juice or soda slowly for a long time can lead to dental cavities.
Breast milk and infant formulae
In infants, the leading cause of dental cavities is lack of proper oral hygiene. Most infants take their milk or formula before they go to bed. Very few parents would bother to wipe their teeth with a clean cloth. As a result, bacteria can accumulate and lead to a dental cavity.
Poor teeth cleaning techniques
Poor teeth cleaning techniques are also a significant cause of dental cavities. When you go to bed without cleaning your teeth, bacteria tend to accumulate on your teeth and cause dental cavities. If you don’t floss your teeth, you will likely encounter a dental cavity at one point in time. So, make sure you brush and clean your teeth at least twice a day.
Inadequate fluoride intake
Fluoride is useful for strengthening teeth. That’s why most toothpaste contains fluoride. Ensure you use fluoride toothpaste because your teeth need the mineral. Fluoride plays a massive role in preventing teeth cavities. Also, you can always use fluoride water when brushing your teeth. Alternatively, your dentist can prescribe fluoride supplements for you. If your teeth do not get many fluorides, you are likely to experience a dental cavity.
There is a certain age where you are prone to getting a dental cavity. Mostly, children and teenagers experience dental cavities more than any other age group. Additionally, as you grow older, the teeth become prone to dental cavities. Also, the majority of older adults are usually under medication. Some types of medication contain acid and are harmful to the teeth.
Reduction of saliva
Another cause of a tooth cavity is dry mouth. Dry mouth often results from various factors. It could be due to certain medications and illnesses. What happens is that the production of saliva gets reduced. Thus, the mouth becomes more acidic, and this increases the risk of getting a cavity.
Heartburn and vomiting
If you experience frequent heartburn, you are likely to develop a tooth cavity. Through heartburn, acid gets transported into your mouth. The acid is not good when it comes into contact with your teeth. It erodes your enamel and can damage your teeth. The same happens when you continuously vomit. Vomit contains acid, and it passes through your mouth. So, after some time, you can experience a dental cavity due to consistent heartburn and vomiting. In most instances, constant vomiting can be a result of an eating disorder or a specific illness. Besides, an eating disorder can also tamper with the generation of saliva, thus cause dental cavities.
There are so many causes of teeth cavities. Today, the primary cause is consuming sugary foodstuffs. Other causes include poor oral hygiene practices, age, and dry mouth. All in all, you can prevent dental cavities by eating healthy and cleaning your teeth as often as possible. Also, scheduling dental checkups frequently would help in detecting and treating dental cavities early.