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A 39-year-old member asked:

what causes tooth decay?

4 doctor answers7 doctors weighed in
Dr. Bruce Apfelbaum
Dentistry 51 years experience
Sugar: Bacteria in your mouth cling to your tooth & if fed by sugar they produce acids that erode your tooth & result in decay ( a cavity).
Dr. Jeffrey Collura
Cosmetic Dentistry 14 years experience
Certain Bacteria: You need the combination of of a few things. 1) bacteria in your mouth. The better you can control the bacteria count the less likey you are to get decay. 2) carbohydrate. The bacteria use and produce acid as a by-product. Sugar is worst 3) a susceptible tooth surface. Smooth sufaces and self cleansing areas of the mouth are less prone to cavities...Sealants can fill in groves and pits 4) time.
Dr. Harvey Shiffman
Cosmetic Dentistry 37 years experience
Combination: Tooth decay comes from a combination of food debris left on and in between teeth and bacteria that use the food debris and create acids that damage tooth enamel and dentin.
Dr. Monica Scheurer
Dentistry 27 years experience
Bacteria and sugar: Decay is caused by bacteria which are naturally occurring in your mouth. When the bacteria are fed sugar, either simple like sweets or complex like bread or sugar, they produce acid which eats into the tooth.

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Similar questions

A 48-year-old member asked:

How do sweet things cause tooth decay?

3 doctor answers10 doctors weighed in
Dr. Mazin Kizy
Dentistry 22 years experience
Bacteria: Tooth decay is caused by bacteria living in your mouth. The bacteria use carbohydrates (sugars) to produce acids which breakdown the surface of the tooth. This breakdown is tooth decay. Keep in mind, it is not how much sweet things you eat but how often you eat them that affect tooth decay.
A 30-year-old member asked:

Why do biofilms cause tooth decay?

3 doctor answers9 doctors weighed in
Dr. Pablo Arango
ENT and Head and Neck Surgery 24 years experience
Bacteria: Biofilms are collections of bacteria. If they are sitting on your teeth in the form of plaque, they are busy converting the sugar in your food to erosive acid.
A 34-year-old member asked:

What foods can I eat that will not cause tooth decay?

3 doctor answers6 doctors weighed in
Dr. John Van der Werff
Dentistry 39 years experience
Foods without Sugar: Sugar is one of the main causes of tooth decay. Avoiding sugar or at least limiting its consumption will help. Also, taking good care of your teeth and having help from a dentist will help.
A 44-year-old member asked:

What are the main causes of tooth decay?

3 doctor answers5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Theodore Davantzis
Dentistry 40 years experience
Acid: Acid, produced by bacteria, causes the breakdown of the mineral matrix that enamel is composed of. Acids from specific foods/drinks will also contribute to the problem, as will acid reflux.
MN
A 16-year-old male asked:

What chemicals cause tooth decay?

3 doctor answers6 doctors weighed in
Dr. Theodore Davantzis
Dentistry 40 years experience
Acid: Acid demineralizes the enamel matrix of the teeth causing tooth decay.

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Last updated Oct 14, 2019

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