Cavities are holes caused by erosion of our teeth, commonly known as an unfortunate result of tooth decay. Many have the misconception that children only get cavities from too many sweets, but it is also an issue that plagues adults every year. The following is a list composed of our top 3 reasons why you get cavities:
1. Sugary Foods
From cookies to candy — who doesn’t like sweets? Unfortunately, our teeth do not. Our mouths are full of bacteria that feed on left behind sugar, which ultimately produce acid. This acid is the cause of tooth decay as the acid softens the enamel, the hard outer layer that is meant to protect our teeth. You’ve most likely heard from your dentists to avoid brushing at least 30 minutes after eating. The reasoning behind this is due to the enamel being softened and is more likely to be brushed away from your toothbrush.
2. Acidic Foods and Drinks
As you may have noticed from #1 above, acid is the main offender when it comes to tooth decay in the form of cavities. When one thinks of something being “acidic”, soda would most likely come to mind, but others such as citrus fruits, fruit juices, and even pickles can eventually cause cavities. Constantly consuming acidic foods and drinks have a direct effect on the teeth since they are in immediate contact with these harmful acids that lead to cavities.
3. Poor Oral Hygiene Practices
Engaging in poor oral hygiene is the most obvious of the 3 and is for good reason — poor hygiene will lead to cavities. Remember when we briefly touched on the bacteria that loves to feed on sugar? Well, these bacteria, when left to accumulate on the teeth, form a sticky residue commonly known as plaque. This bacterial plaque is what is responsible for the acid that erodes away your enamel when consuming your favorite foods. The process of the erosion leaves us with tiny cavity holes in the tooth which will get bigger and bigger until treatment is sought from a dentist.
At Palos Heights Family Dental, your oral health is our top priority, please contact us here if you would like more information or to schedule an appointment.