Have Tooth Decay? Here Are Some of Its Causes

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Each day, your teeth are exposed to a number of potential causes for tooth decay. You can develop it from brushing your teeth too hard, eating acidic foods and drinks, or letting your teeth grind down. But what causes it? The answer is not as simple as you might think. In this article, we will explore some of the common causes that lead to tooth decay.

Brushing too hard

Brushing your teeth with too much force can cause the surface enamel to wear away. Some studies suggest that brushing more than three times a day can also lead to tooth decay. Consider how many times you should brush so that your teeth are properly cleaned while avoiding the risk of tooth decay.

Three times a day is recommended for most people, though twice per day is enough if you are not at high risk for tooth decay. Ideally, brush after every meal, or at least once in the morning and once before bedtime. The surface enamel on your teeth is “non-renewable” — once it’s gone, it’s gone for good. So be gentle when brushing and use a soft-bristled brush.

Acidic foods and drinks

Acidic foods and drinks can cause tooth decay by wearing away the surface enamel on your teeth. This includes citrus fruits, sports drinks, and even some fruit juices. If you are concerned about the acidity levels in your food and drink, consult a nutritionist for their advice. Eating healthy food is necessary, but that doesn’t have to mean giving up your favorite foods. There are plenty of healthy, non-acidic foods that you can enjoy.

Grinding teeth down

Teeth grinding can wear down tooth enamel and cause damage to the teeth. It is also known as bruxism, and it often comes from stress or anxiety. You can lessen this from happening by addressing your stress. De-stress by taking up meditation, yoga, or even talking with a friend.

Stress cannot always be solved by making one simple change. If you are feeling stressed or anxious, make time to address it before it becomes an issue that goes beyond your control. If you have been grinding your teeth at night, you should consult a dentist about wearing a mouth guard to reduce the risk of tooth decay.

The tooth brushing technique is incorrect

woman brushing her teeth

If you are brushing your teeth too hard, not spending enough time brushing them, or using the wrong techniques, you can develop tooth decay. Always make sure to brush your teeth for at least two minutes twice a day, doing the best job you can. This should be done with soft pressure rather than force. Watch out for how you hold your toothbrush as well. Ensure that the bristles are pointed downward toward your gums rather than up toward your eyes.

You can also reduce plaque build-up by using an oil pulling method — coating your teeth in coconut or sesame oil, and swishing it around for five minutes before spitting it out and rinsing your mouth out.

Eating habits that lead to tooth wear (gum recession, plaque build-up)

Your habits increase your risk of tooth decay. For instance, gum recession can happen when you do not regularly brush and floss your teeth. Plaque build-up can also lead to tooth decay if not removed with a good brushing and flossing routine.

To prevent gum recession from happening, make sure to brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss once daily. Plaque build-up can be removed more easily if you brush with baking soda.

A dry mouth or xerostomia that often goes unnoticed can

Xerostomia, or a dry mouth, can cause tooth decay. Many things, including certain medications, can cause it. Remember to stay hydrated so that you have increased saliva flow, which will rinse away bacteria that form on the teeth. Drink water and chew sugar-free gum to increase saliva flow.

If you are experiencing a dry mouth, talk to your doctor about your medications. There may be a different medication that does not cause xerostomia. You can also try using a saliva substitute or artificial saliva products to alleviate the symptoms of xerostomia.


Our mouth changes and becomes more susceptible to tooth decay as we age. Our enamel thins, and the risk of gum disease increases. In some cases, we might need to have teeth replaced or implanted, a service that reputable dental clinics offer. It is important to keep up with your oral hygiene habits as you age and to see a dentist regularly for check-ups.

The common causes of tooth decay are listed in the article, but there may be more that you don’t know about. If you are concerned about developing tooth decay, it is crucial to be aware of its causes. Remember to brush and floss your teeth regularly, and see a dentist if you have any concerns.

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