There are a number of causes of tooth decay with each one of them linked to the food we eat and the habits we do. Out of all the issues that plague patients in the world, tooth decay is probably number one. It’s the same reason why toothpaste companies are still as influential as they are because tooth decay is a problem that doesn’t seem to go away. It’s a problem that everyone can experience regardless of age or sex. That’s why knowing the causes of tooth decay can aid you from getting it in the first place. Here are a few of those causes.

The Causes of Tooth Decay

Out of all the causes of tooth decay, sugar is probably the number one culprit for it. You see, tooth decay begins when the bacteria in our mouth takes leftover bits of food and dissolves it. The resulting compound is an acid that damages our teeth. This is acid is what causes cavities to form in our teeth.

Now, not every food that we eat is harmful to our teeth. However, there are certain exceptions. Sugar, for example, is probably the favorite compound of oral bacteria. This is because sugar is the catalyst for the bacteria to create acid. It’s their central ingredient.

To get a closer look at the bacteria that dwell in your mouth, then just peer over the plaque that forms on your teeth. Don’t let plaque take over your teeth unless you want them to thrive and cause decay wherever they go.

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Neglected Oral Hygiene

Of course, neglecting your oral hygiene is another cause of tooth decay. The TV commercials don’t lie, you really do need to brush at least twice a day. You need to use a reliable toothpaste brand that strengthens the enamel on your tooth. All these amounts to a cleaner set of teeth free of plaque and bacteria and, in turn, free of tooth decay.

While we’re on the same topic, it won’t hurt to improve your current oral routine. Adding floss and mouthwash into the mix will greatly decrease the chance of tooth decay.

Also, make sure to replace your toothbrush every month or two. The American Dental Association has stated that the bristles of your toothbrush become frayed after a month of use. Frayed bristles mean that it won’t be as effective in cleaning out plaque and bacteria.

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Acidic Foods and Drinks

As mentioned above, the bacteria in our mouth create acid that eats through our teeth. This acid isn’t exclusively found in the compounds created by bacteria. The foods and drinks we consume contain a certain amount of acid that can still damage our teeth. The biggest example of this would be soda. Soda sugary and acidic content make it a very dangerous drink for one to consume on a daily basis. However, even healthy ones such as fruits can contain acid. Citrus fruits do contain an acid that damages our teeth. The only reason why there are not as many people complaining about it is that it’s not as bad as sugary snacks.

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Teeth Grinding

This may not come to mind when thinking about tooth decay. You see, teeth grinding like nail biting, is an involuntary habit that people still do to this day. This happens during times of stress or at times where we sleep. Not all patients have this condition but it’s worth knowing since it delivers a serious amount of damage to our teeth.

By constantly grinding our teeth, we are damaging the enamel that protects its outer surface. With exposed teeth comes the likelihood of easier decay as your teeth are unprotected. To combat this, make sure to acquire a bite guard.

Other Causes of Tooth Decay

Not enough saliva can also promote tooth decay. Our saliva washes away bits of food that are easily rid of. A dry mouth could either be caused by a condition called xerostomia or a patient constantly breathes through their mouth.

Smoking is another culprit that causes decay. The chemical brought in by the nicotine not only yellows teeth and darkens gums, but it can make any existing tooth decay worse.

Genetics may also play a part in tooth decay. No matter how strict or good your oral hygiene is, your genetics may contribute to the formation of decay. The best thing to do is to continue following the routine and consult your dentist.

How To Heal A Tooth Decay

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There are a number of ways to heal tooth decay at home. Click here to read about them. However, as sort of a quick reminder, you can combat decay with the use of garlic and clove oil. The former can be minced down to a fine paste and applied to the area. Doing this a number of times for a week or two can heal the decay and prevent from getting worse.

You can also use toothpaste rich in fluoride. Fluoride being a major part of our teeth, you can effectively stomp out decay by strengthening a tooth’s enamel.

If you want a more effective method of healing tooth decay, then your dentist can fix it for you. There are plenty of dental services that can fix damaged teeth. From dental crowns, fillings, and more. To find the best one, make sure to consult your dentist as each service fixes different varying types of decay and damage.

Visiting your dentist twice a year to get a professional cleaning can help reduce tartar and plaque buildup. The service itself is harmless, affordable, and abundant.


The method in removing tooth decay is prevention. By practicing good oral hygiene, you are effectively sparing yourself of the hassle and dangers of tooth decay. In addition, by visiting your dentist once a month you are given the advantage of the information. Information is key if you wish to take the right actions in fixing your oral health. A dental checkup is inexpensive and it is recommended by dentists today. Be sure to create your own checkup routine in the future.