What causes cavities? Understanding the cause of tooth decay can allow you to take steps to avoid it in the first place. Avoiding decay can also protect your smile from complications, such as infection or in extreme cases, tooth loss. First, you need to understand what factors can lead to the onset of a cavity.
What Causes Cavities? A Quiz
- True or False: Soda and sports drinks both can lead to cavities.
- True or False: The foods we can drink can lead to decay.
- True or False: Toothaches can be a warning sign.
- True or False: You can take steps to avoid decay.
- True. Soda contains a high amount of sugar; which bacteria can break down to increase oral acidity and coat the teeth in a sticky biofilm known as plaque. Eventually, this can weaken tooth enamel enough to allow cavities to form. Sports drinks, while popular for hydrating athletes, also contain high amounts of acid, also weakening tooth enamel.
- True. Like soda, many foods and snacks can contain high amounts of sugar and other starches. Eating them can increase the risk of tooth decay forming. Instead, we recommend choosing snacks such as nuts or dairy products. You can also snack on fresh fruit and vegetables to enjoy a healthy alternative that doesn’t out your smile at risk.
- True. If you develop tooth sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures, or a toothache, then you may be experiencing the warning signs of a cavity. We recommend seeing the dentist right away. The doctor can examine your teeth and see if you need treatment for decay.
- True. You can take steps to protect your smile from cavities. First, see your dentist every six months for a routine checkup. Next, brush your teeth twice a day and floss once a day without exception.