What Causes Tooth Decay?

Tooth decay sounds like something that only happens to people who don’t take care of their teeth, but it can happen to anyone. Tooth decay is the breakdown of tooth enamel, the hard outer layer of your teeth. Enamel protects your teeth from the everyday wear and tear of chewing, biting, and grinding. Once enamel is gone, it’s gone for good.

In this blog post, we will discuss the common causes of tooth decay and what you can do to protect your teeth from this harmful disease!

What is Tooth Decay?

Tooth decay is a preventable disease that affects the teeth. It is caused by bacteria that produce acid that destroys the enamel of the teeth. If left untreated, tooth decay can lead to cavities and even loss of teeth.

Common Causes of Tooth Decay

The most common cause of tooth decay is poor oral hygiene. Plaque is a sticky film of food debris, bacteria, and saliva. If plaque is not removed, it will harden and turn into tartar. Tartar is difficult to remove and can only be removed by a dental professional.

Other common causes of tooth decay include:

  • Eating sugary or starchy foods
  • Drinking beverages high in sugar
  • Not visiting the dentist regularly
  • Using tobacco products

Are Cavities a Form of Tooth Decay?

Cavities are a common type of tooth decay. A cavity is a hole in the tooth that can be caused by plaque and tartar buildup. Cavities can also be caused by eating sugary foods, not brushing your teeth, or not visiting the dentist regularly.

If you think you may have a cavity, it’s important to see a dentist as soon as possible. Cavities can lead to tooth loss if they are not treated.

Other Forms of Tooth Decay

In addition to cavities, tooth decay can also lead to other problems such as:

  • Gum Disease
  • Bad Breath
  • Tooth Loss 
  • Tooth Sensitivity

Warning Signs of Tooth Decay

There are several warning signs of tooth decay that you should be aware of. If you notice any of the following, you should see a dentist as soon as possible:

  • Sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures
  • Pain when eating or drinking
  • Visible holes or pits in the teeth
  • Staining or discoloration of the teeth
  • Bad breath

What to Do if You Suspect Tooth Decay

If you think you may have tooth decay, it’s important to see a dentist as soon as possible. The earlier tooth decay is caught, the easier it is to treat.

Does Tooth Decay Always Require Professional Treatment?

Yes, tooth decay always requires professional treatment. Untreated tooth decay can lead to cavities and even loss of teeth. Therefore, it’s important to see a dentist as soon as you notice any warning signs of tooth decay.

Preventing Tooth Decay Through Daily Oral Hygiene

The best way to prevent tooth decay is through daily oral hygiene. This includes brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing daily, and using mouthwash.

It’s also important to visit the dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings. By following these simple tips, you can help prevent tooth decay and keep your smile healthy!