Things That Can Cause Tooth Decay
Tooth decay occurs when the germs, or bacteria, in your mouth make acids that eat away at your teeth. This leads to holes in the teeth called cavities. A tooth has three layers: the enamel, the dentin, and the pulp. The further in the decay reaches, the worse the damage and effects will be. This includes pain, infection, and even tooth loss.
There are many things that can cause tooth decay, or make patients more susceptible to tooth decay. These include:
• Not following a healthy oral health routine, including brushing, flossing, and using mouth wash regularly
• Not seeing a dentist regularly
• Eating foods that are high in sugar or carbohydrates, which feed the bacteria in the mouth
• Not getting enough fluoride, which helps prevent tooth decay by fortifying the teeth against acids
• Dry mouth. Saliva helps wash away harmful debris and sugars, and is imperative to keeping the teeth healthy
• Having diabetes
Younger patients are also more susceptible to tooth decay, as their dental minerals are not yet strong, and unable to fight plaque. It is also possible for babies to get cavities due to “bottle mouth”, or from the sugars in milk.
You might be suffering from tooth decay if you have:
• A toothache, which necessitates a root canal treatment
• Swollen gums near the area, which is also a sign of an abscessed tooth
• Chronic bad breath, or bad taste in your mouth
• White, gray, brown, or black spots on the teeth
If any of these signs apply to you, see our dentist in the San Fernando Valley immediately.
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