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Tooth Decay and Its Risk Factors

Posted by ROTA DENTAL on Aug 10 2022, 09:28 AM

Tooth decay is also known as dental caries or cavities. Tooth decay occurs when bacteria in your mouth combine with saliva and particles from food to form plaque. Over time, plaque builds up on your teeth and can lead to tooth decay.

Early cavity detection is important for protecting your oral health. If your dentist catches a cavity early, it may be easier to treat. In some cases, we can repair a cavity with a dental filling. This eliminates the bacteria and decay that have caused your cavity.

Here are certain risk factors for tooth decay that you need to keep in mind:

Not Brushing Your Teeth

If you don’t brush your teeth regularly, plaque builds up and hardens into tartar on the tooth’s surface. This hard buildup, also known as calculus, can only be removed with a deep cleaning at the dentist’s office. If calculus is not removed, it can only be removed by a dentist with dental instruments.

Acid Erosion

Acid erosion can cause tooth enamel to break down. Acids are found in acidic foods and beverages such as soda, oranges, lemons, vinegar, and wine. Erosion also occurs due to acid reflux because saliva can’t neutralize the bacteria growing in plaque. Plaque is a thin layer of bacteria and leftover food. When bacteria in plaque break down, acids are produced that eat away at tooth enamel.

Eating Too Many Sugary Foods

Sticky or hard candy, lollipops, soda, and sugary drinks are some of the worst culprits for causing tooth decay. This is because these treats stay on your teeth for a long time, giving oral bacteria plenty of time to cling to your teeth and start the decay process.

Not Eating Enough Healthy Foods

Depletion of important nutrients from your diet can put you at risk for tooth decay. Without these nutrients, your body cannot fight harmful bacteria. Talk to your dentist about the best vitamins and nutrients to include in your diet and dietary habits that can help to reduce your risk of tooth decay.

Not Flossing Enough

Flossing helps prevent tooth decay by removing plaque from between teeth and along the gum line. If you don’t floss, food particles and bacteria can linger between teeth and turn into plaque. Without flossing, plaque can build up and lead to tooth decay.


Smoking and chewing tobacco increase your risk for tooth decay. The acids in tobacco weaken tooth enamel.

Smokers are 30 percent more likely to have gum disease than non-smokers. They are also 50 percent more likely to have tooth decay.

Certain Medications

Certain medications can cause dry mouth. Some medications also cause changes in the acidity of the mouth, which can increase the risk of tooth decay.

To learn more about tooth decay, you can reach us at Rota Advanced Dental Care, 6210 Woodmen Park View, Colorado Springs, CO 80923. Call Dentist in Colorado Springs, CO, at (719) 598-1224 to book an appointment.

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6210 Woodmen Park View, Colorado Springs, CO 80923

Phone: (719) 598-1224

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Call or Text Us: (719) 598-1224