Los Angeles dentist advice on Tooth decay: What causes it?
Q: What causes tooth decay?
A: Tooth decay, which is also known as dental caries or cavities, is an infectious disease that causes the structure of your teeth to break down. If you don’t treat it, it can cause infection, pain and tooth loss.
There are four things required for tooth decay to take place: a vulnerable tooth, the bacteria responsible for cavities (primarily Streptococcus mutans and Lactobacillus,) fermentable carbohydrates (such as lactose, glucose and sucrose) and time.
If you have poor oral hygiene, chronic dry mouth or a history of high sugar consumption, you have an increased risk for caries. There are also some genetic risk factors that make your teeth more susceptible to decay, such as Amelogenesis imperfecta.
The best way to prevent tooth decay is to see your dentist every 6 months at least and follow proper oral hygiene.