What are the Major Causes of Cavities?

What are the Major Causes of Cavities?

Posted by ARDEN DENTAL CARE on Apr 11 2019, 11:49 PM

What are the Major Causes of Cavities?

Cavities are tiny holes that develop on the surface of your teeth. They are also called caries and are caused by various factors such as oral bacteria, eating and drinking sugary foods and drinks, and improper oral hygiene. Cavities are a chronic oral problem that is especially prevalent in children and older adults. 

If cavities are not addressed on time, they can grow in size and affect the deeper layers of your teeth. This, in turn, can lead to severe infections, toothaches, and tooth loss. Routine dental appointments and good brushing and flossing habits are your best protection against cavities and tooth decay.

Symptoms of Cavities

The symptoms of cavities vary based on their extent and location. When a cavity is still developing, it may not show any signs. As the decay progresses, the following symptoms may occur:

  • Toothache
  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Sharp pain when eating or drinking 
  • Sensitivity hot or cold temperatures
  • Visible holes in your teeth
  • White stains on the affected tooth surface

Major Causes of Cavities

Tooth Location

Cavities often develop in your back teeth like the molars and premolars. These teeth have deep grooves and pits where food debris can accumulate. 

Foods and Drinks

Foods that stick to your teeth like honey, sugar, dried fruit, cake, cookies, hard candy, and chips are more likely to cause cavities. In addition, when you frequently eat sugary snacks or drink sugary beverages, the bacteria in your mouth receive more fuel to produce acids that damage your teeth. 

Inadequate Brushing

If you don't clean your teeth after eating certain foods or every morning and evening, plaque forms quickly, leading to tooth decay.

Insufficient Fluoride

Fluoride is a mineral that helps prevent cavities. It can also reverse the preliminary stages of tooth decay. 

Dry Mouth

A dry mouth can cause tooth decay as saliva is required to wash away food debris and plaque. The substances found in saliva also help balance the acid released by bacteria. 

Worn Fillings or Restorations

In time, dental fillings can wear down. This allows bacteria to penetrate the layers of the teeth and cause decay. Dental appliances that no longer fit well also allow decay to accumulate beneath them.


Heartburn can cause stomach acid to flow into your mouth, wearing away the enamel and causing tooth damage. As a result, your dentin becomes exposed to bacteria that can lead to cavities. 

To learn more about cavity prevention and treatments, contact Arden Dental Care at (916) 481-2001 or visit us at 1832 Avondale Ave Ste 1, Sacramento, CA 95825.

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