What Causes Dental Cavities?

What Causes Dental Cavities?

What Causes Dental Cavities?

There are many reasons cavities can happen. One contributing factor can be plaque and tartar building up on teeth. Plaque is a sticky film that is filled with bacteria and acid. If it is not removed, it will eat away at the enamel, causing cavities.

Plaque forms when sugars and starches are consumed. It is a natural process, but it can cause problems if not properly removed. When plaque forms on the teeth, it can harden into tartar which can result in cavities over time. 

The cavity-causing bacteria can occur because of numerous reasons, such as:

Poor Oral Hygiene

Poor oral hygiene is one of the major causes of tooth decay. If you don't brush your teeth after meals or you regularly forget to floss, you could be increasing your risk of developing cavities. The bacteria in your mouth feed on the sugars and starches you consume. Without regular brushing and flossing, those bacteria are left to feast on your teeth.

Sugary Foods

The main reason that sugar causes tooth decay is that bacteria in the mouth feed on sugar. When they do this, they release acid that eats away at tooth enamel and allows cavities to form.

Sugary foods and drinks are more likely to get stuck in teeth because of their stickiness. Sticky foods hold onto teeth longer, giving bacteria more time to feed on them.

Additionally, foods with added sugars tend to have less nutritional value than foods without added sugars. This lack of nutrition means that they are easier to consume quickly, often in large quantities.

Dry Mouth

Dry mouth, also known as xerostomia, can be caused by certain medications, salivary gland problems, or breathing through the mouth open. It can also be caused by dehydration, smoking, or excessive caffeine consumption.

Dry mouth can cause halitosis and dental problems. It can cause tooth decay, gum disease, and bad breath. Fortunately, dry mouth can be treated by drinking more water, chewing sugar-free gum, and using saliva substitutes.


If you or a member of your family has a history of developing cavities, you may have a higher risk of developing them yourself.

Please reach out to our dental practice at 17952 SW Blanton St, Aloha, OR 97078, to schedule a consultation with Dr. Bronitsky. Call us at (503) 649-5665 or schedule an online consultation, and we'll guide you further.


17952 SW Blanton St,
Aloha, OR 97078

Office Hours

MON - TUE8:00 am - 5:00 pm

WED7:00 am - 4:00 pm

THU8:00 am - 5:00 pm

FRIBy appointments only

SAT - SUNClosed