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Is Sugar the Cause Of My Cavities?

Dental problems are more common than we think. Many people don’t visit their dentists regularly, whereas many don’t visit a dental clinic at all! The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state that 1 in 4 Americans has untreated cavities.

According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, over 90% of participants experienced tooth decay.

Parents often get their kids to reduce their sugar consumption by scaring them with cavities and the idea of dentists pulling out their teeth. Contrary to popular belief, sugar isn’t the only cause of cavities.

People of all ages run the risk of developing cavities. Here are some of the reasons for it:


The food you consume is a big contributing factor to tooth decay. Many individuals believe that sugar is the cause of cavities and therefore limit their consumption. In reality, most foods we consume are broken down into sugars.

Every time you consume food, enzymes in the saliva break down food into sugars and create acid. Amylase works on starch, while lipase breaks down fatty acids, kallikreins break down protein.

The acids produced as a result attack the teeth, causing tooth decay.

Frequent snacking and consuming a poor quality diet like sugary and salty snacks increases the risk of cavities.


Genetic factors are out of your control. Some individuals have better quality enamel than others. Those with thin enamel layers lack the protective covering on their teeth. Their enamel wears out faster, putting them at a higher risk than others for cavities.

The bacteria living inside our mouths also contribute to the health of our teeth. Like fingerprints, bacteria present in the mouth differ from person to person. Some have more bacteria than others.


Many people are on medications every day to manage conditions they may be suffering from. A common side effect of these is dry mouth. Drugs used to treat depression, pain, allergies, anxiety, hypertension and more have one side effect in common, dry mouth.

Saliva prevents cavities from forming. It combats bacteria from forming that promote tooth decay. Lack of saliva production as a side effect of your medications could be increasing your risk of cavities.

Excess brushing

Brushing your teeth is considered a healthy oral habit. It must be done at least twice a day to combat dental issues that arise from improper hygiene. Dentists reveal that individuals who brush their teeth too roughly or with a hard bristle brush are increasing their risk of cavities. Vigorous brushing wears off the enamel which is the protective layer of the teeth, exposing the dentin, making your teeth susceptible to tooth decay.


Unbeknownst to many, food allergies can be causing you cavities. Food allergies cause your body to produce more allergens which are excreted into the saliva, making it thicker. Though this seems harmless, thick saliva increases bacteria levels in your mouth.

If you are looking to get your cavities fixed by an experienced professional, giving you the most perfect smile, visit Waterfront Family Dentistry. We provide dental services in Little Elm including Invisalign and wisdom teeth removal. Contact us at for more information.

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