A cavity or tooth decay is a problem we all have at some point. It is the accumulation of bacteria and plaque that erodes the protective enamel and leads to tooth decay. The symptoms of a cavity may not be felt unless it starts growing into a serious issue. An untreated cavity can invite severe dental issues that may also result in tooth loss. Knowing what causes a cavity can be helpful in avoiding these dental issues. As kids, we were often asked not to eat too many sweets and also brush twice a day to avoid cavity. But cavity is caused by several other reasons that may be beyond our knowledge.
Poor Oral Health
Oral hygiene includes brushing, flossing, tongue cleaning and using a mouthwash. Poor oral hygiene is an invitation to cavity formation. Brushing twice a day and for at least two minutes is essential to prevent plaque accumulation. Our mouth comprises of tongue, roof or the mouth and area near the throat. Brushing and flossing may not be able to reach and eliminate bacteria from such areas. Hence, tongue cleaning and rinsing with a mouthwash is important to keep your mouth clean.
Foods that stick to your teeth are a treat for the bacteria to feed on, which leads to tooth decay. Sugary and acidic food and beverages such as sugar, sweets, soda, cake, cookies, alcohol, caffeine, chips, and breath mints tend to cling to your teeth. The sugar and acidic nature of these tend to erode the protective enamel and lead to tooth decay.
Saliva inhibits cavity formation by washing off the plaque and food particles from your teeth. The contents of saliva also help counter the acid produced by bacteria and repair early tooth decay. Dry mouth is caused by lack of saliva and invites cavity formation. Certain medications, as well as medical conditions, can cause a dry mouth. It is best to consult a dentist who will work on preventing and treating the cavity due to dry mouth issues.
Teeth grinding issue is faced by many without even realizing that they are doing this. It usually occurs during sleep or stress. Teeth grinding tends to strip away the tooth enamel and result in decay. A dentist can help resolve this issue by providing you with dental guards.
Cavities can occur at any age. It is common with kids, teens as well as adults. There are several reasons for cavity formation in old age. Dry mouth caused by medications, the recession of teeth and gums and improper oral hygiene can all lead to tooth decay.
Crowding of teeth can occur for several reasons. You may naturally have crowded teeth, less space to accommodate new teeth in kids, loss of teeth, or eruption of wisdom teeth. These can all be reasons of crowded teeth. Crowding can lead to food particles stuck in between resulting in plaque formation. This eventually leads to tooth decay. A dentist can assist you in correcting the misalignment to preventing dental diseases.
These factors will help in understanding the reasons behind a cavity. After knowing what causes a cavity, you can take necessary measures to prevent cavity formation. Apart from measures on your part, it is essential to go for regular dental check-ups to maintain a good oral health.