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  • Writer's pictureDanielle Doyle

What causes tooth decay?

Updated: Jul 11, 2021

Hi everybody,

Today I am starting my oral health promotion series. Over the next few weeks, I will be posting handy tips to help improve your oral hygiene. Remember, preventing tooth decay and gum disease developing is much better than dealing with them once a problem has occurred! I will kick today off with a question that I get from many patients… What causes tooth decay?

Tooth decay is a complex multifactorial process, but I am going to try and give you a quick and easy explanation:

Bacteria live in the mouth and feed on the food that you eat. Bacteria that cause decay love to eat sugars in your diet. The bacteria metabolise the sugar which causes acid to be released onto your teeth. If this happens frequently over a period of time, then the acid begins to breakdown the tooth surface causing cavities to form.

Now that you understand the process, you’ll understand why regular brushing (removing the bacteria) and having a low sugar diet (not feeding the bacteria) is so important!

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