What Causes Cavities?

Many of our patients ask what exactly causes a cavity, and the answer is simple. Even better, the most effective method of prevention is even simpler.

Many of our patients ask what exactly causes a cavity, and the answer is—while simple—quite complex. Cavities, also known as “tooth decay” actually occurs when the bacteria which live inside your mouth begin to multiply and form colonies. Certain proteins found in saliva can also mix with the bacteria forming plaque (a clear or whitish film) on teeth, leading to cavity formation.

So what exactly can you do to prevent bacterial overgrowth and cavity formation?

Proper Oral Hygiene

Proper oral hygiene includes not only brushing your teeth but also flossing, cleaning your tongue and using mouthwash. You should always brush your teeth a minimum of twice a day; however, it is ideal to do so after each meal. You should also brush for a full two minutes.

Apply Dental Sealants

Most people’s teeth are not completely smooth or flat; teeth consist of pits, grooves, and depressions all over the chewing surfaces. These areas can actually be the perfect hiding spot for debris and bacteria, as a toothbrush typically can’t reach these areas. It is important to protect your teeth with dental sealants if this is the case as it can help form a barrier and make oral hygiene techniques easier.

Improve Diet & Nutrition

Diet and nutrition in America have taken a very bad turn in recent decades, increasing the risk of all sorts of health complications. Unfortunately, these dietary issues also increase the risk of dental complications as well, specifically tooth decay/cavities. Try to introduce more fruits, vegetables and nutritious foods to your daily meals.

Visit the Dentist Regularly

There are a number of reasons people may avoid the dentist. However, dental anxiety is among the most common. Neglecting to schedule routine dental examinations and cleanings can put you more at risk for cavity formation. We offer sedation dentistry for those that experience anxiety at the dentist. This will allow you to experience a relaxing and calming dental appointment.

back to blog