Franck Dental Blog

What Causes Cavities?

Jul 24, 2022

In our previous blog post we discussed what a cavity is and what possible symptoms you might be experiencing with a cavity. In this post we will go more into the causes and risk factors of cavities.

The basic cause of cavities has to do with plaque buildup. Plaque typically happens when sugars and starches cause bacteria to build on your teeth. This usually happens because you are not brushing properly or often enough. This plaque will attack the outer part of your teeth which can cause tiny holes. This can eventually lead to bacteria reaching the inner layer of your teeth which will start the destruction of your tooth (cavities).

What can you do to prevent cavities? The biggest thing you can do is to know the risk factors so that you can keep an eye on your dental health and make sure you are doing everything you can to keep your cavity risk down.

Limit Certain Types of Foods and Beverages

Foods that stick to your teeth (sometimes you might not even notice this is happening) can cause decay. Make sure you brush your teeth or at least drink water when consuming items like this.

Snacking and Sipping

This is similar to the bullet above, especially if you are sipping and/or snacking on sugary items.

Infant Feeding at Bedtime

As mentioned in the previous blog post infants can get cavities too. This is even more true if you give your infant a bottle at bedtime. Toddlers can also have similar issues if they drink from sippy cups a lot, especially if those cups contain juice.

Dry Mouth

Since dry mouth is typically because of a lack of saliva this can lead to bacteria having an easier time building up on your teeth, which we’ve already established is not a good thing.

Tooth Location

Teeth in locations that are harder to reach when brushing and flossing can make it harder to clean and lead to cavities.

Not Brushing Good Enough

There is a right way to brush and if you are not brushing properly and often enough that means you are not getting your teeth clean and removing bacteria.

Eating Disorders

If you’re having issues with an eating disorder and especially a disorder that involves vomiting often this can lead to tooth erosion which creates an opportunity for cavities to form.

Not Enough Fluoride

Fluoride can come from a variety of places including toothpaste and from your dentist and sometimes even from public water supplies. Getting enough fluoride can help prevent cavities.

A lot of these risk factors for cavities are easily preventable but even with your best efforts you can still get a cavity. But never fear, if you are concerned that you might have a cavity let your dentist know so that they can see if further action needs to be taken.

The information on this Blog is provided for general information, is not intended to provide medical, dental or surgical advice, and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. No dentist/patient relationship is established by your use of this Site. No diagnosis or treatment is being provided. The information contained here should be used in consultation with a dentist of your choice. No guarantees or warranties are made regarding any of the information contained within this Blog.

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C. Christian Franck, DDS

721 East Baltimore Pike Suite 301
Kennett Square, PA 19348