Dental decay is caused by the harmful bacteria accumulation (plaque) in your mouth. Such bacteria accumulation feeds on the sugary components from your diet, and it usually leads to cavity formation on the tooth structure. If left undetected and untreated, the bacteria can progressively invade into the dental nerve and blood supply system (known as “dental pulp”) and starts to cause severe toothache and infections.
It is commonly known that inadequate teeth cleaning, frequent sugary snacks and irregular dental visits could lead to higher occurrence of dental decays. However, the reality is that there are some other uncommon and surprising risk factors that people don’t usually know about.
- Sinus and decongestant
People who suffer from sinus problems often use decongestant. This could cause dry mouth. Dry mouth increases risk of dental decays, as saliva is usually protective in your mouth and washes out the plaque.
People taking anti-depressants are also at elevated risk for decay formation. It appears that the medications that give your smile back also might cause damages to your pearly whites! These medications could also lead to dry mouth which in turn could result in dental decays.
Some anti-anxiety drugs also lead to dry mouth and increase your risk of developing tooth infection.
People who suffer from allergy problems might take antihistamines. It could lead to dry mouth. Again, dry mouth increases your risk for developing dental cavities.
- Vitamin water
We might think these drinks must be healthy since they have the word “vitamin” in them, right? Wrong! Most of these drinks are very acidic which could soften and wash away the surface enamel on your teeth, and therefore leaving your teeth more vulnerable for dental cavities.
- Sports drinks
Sports drink can rehydrate your body after a hard work out, but they also might be disastrous for your teeth. Uncontrolled consumptions of these types of beverages could lead to erosive tooth wear, as they tend to significantly drop the pH value in your mouth, again, results in softening of the surface enamel.
- Chewable vitamins
There vitamins often contain oligosaccharides. You could consider it as a small chain of simple sugar which also fuels bacteria that cause dental decay.
- Bread/Banana/Starchy foods
Scientific researches have shown that some starches might have worse effect than the sugar found in candy. This is because starches dissolve much more slowly than sugar. These starches could be slowly broken down into multiple different forms of sugars and cause damages to our teeth.
- Raisins & Dried Fruits.
These types of sticky food could be considered as a sticky form of sugar and starches. When sticky sugars get stuck and linger on your teeth, it creates perfect opportunity for tooth cavity creation, as the bacteria will take their time to feed on the sugars!
- Cough Syrup
Sweeteners in cough syrup could fuel the bacteria that damages teeth and cause dental cavities.
It is both surprising and depressing to know that there could be so many causes leaving us vulnerable to dental decays. However, in fact, dental decay is one of the most preventable diseases. Be mindful of some of the causes of dental decays is a great start for your dental well-being.
Our expert dentists love to share more tips and knowledge to help you and your family maintaining great dental health for life.
Discuss these with us at your next dental check up and clean!