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Common Causes of Tooth Cavities

Man's healthy smile in dental check-upIt’s common knowledge that the best ways to prevent dental cavities include brushing, flossing, and visiting your general dentist for regular cleanings and exams. However, you may not be aware of certain risk factors that can cause you to be more vulnerable to dental cavities. If you fall into any of the following categories, you may need to take extra steps to avoid dental cavities.

Risk Factors for Dental Cavities

Below are a few risk factors that can increase the odds that you’ll develop a dental cavity:

  • Tobacco Use – Smoking cigarettes and chewing tobacco will not only lead to yellow, discolored teeth, but will also break down tooth enamel and cause dry mouth. Both of these increase the risk of dental cavities.
  • Drug and Alcohol Abuse – Alcohol leads to dry mouth and its acidity can wear away your tooth’s enamel. Hard drugs such as methamphetamine are notorious for causing tooth rot and other physical ailments.
  • Genetics – Just like anything else, genetics plays a role in your dental health. Your genes may cause you to have higher amounts of harmful bacteria in your mouth, putting you at a higher risk of dental cavities.
  • Natural Aging Process – Aging tends to cause the tooth enamel to weaken, allowing dental cavities and tooth decay to become more common. Aging can also put you at risk for gum recession and gingivitis.
  • Eating Disorders – Anorexia deprives your body and teeth from getting the proper nutrients. If you aren’t getting calcium or phosphorus, your enamel may begin to weaken. Bulimia damages the tooth enamel by exposing it to harmful stomach acids during purging.

If you have any of the above risk factors, please make sure to contact your general dentist to make an appointment. If you have concerns about your periodontal health, please contact Coastal Periodontics located here in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.   

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