Cavities are caused by bacteria that eat away at the tooth enamel. These nasty little critters cause holes in teeth, leading to tooth decay and eventually cavities. Cavity prevention is an essential aspect of oral hygiene, so knowing what causes them is good! Here are some leading causes of cavities that you might not have known about.
Too Much Acidity
If your pH levels become too acidic, it will start eating away at the enamel on your teeth. This process is called demineralization. And when this happens, there is a higher chance for cavities to form in your mouth.
Not Enough Saliva
Believe it or not, saliva helps wash away food particles and neutralizes the acidity in your mouth. If you produce too little saliva, it’s not going to be able to keep up with the number of bacteria produced by all those sugary foods!
Not Brushing Your Teeth Often Enough
Not brushing your teeth after every meal or snack can cause a problem. We brush our teeth two times a day, right? If we were brushing correctly, most people would need to do this three times a day instead. Brushing just once per day means leaving some severe plaque on your teeth, eventually leading to cavities.
Flossing isn’t anyone’s idea of fun, but it is a critical part of oral health. When we don’t brush our teeth properly, the plaque builds up between our teeth and along the gum line. This is where food particles like sugar and starch will feed those cavities, causing bacteria even more. Ideally, people should floss at least once per day.
The type of mouthwash you use could also cause cavities. Most mouthwashes contain alcohol which kills off some good and bad bacteria, leading to an imbalance in your oral microbiome, which causes other problems down the road. If this happens, try using a natural fluoride-free mouthwash instead.
Many people love drinking soda – however, they should also be aware of the sugar content in those favorite drinks. Drinking too much regularly (non-diet) can increase your risk of cavities. This is because the sugar in these drinks will demineralize your teeth and make them more acidic, leading to cavities.
Using toothpaste containing sodium lauryl sulfate – this ingredient makes suds when we brush with it and strips away our good bacteria, leaving us vulnerable for infections like gingivitis and plaque buildup on our teeth leading to cavities.