Dental Problems

Causes of Tooth Decay in Adults -Risk Factors

Oral-Submucous-FibrosisTooth decay is mostly seen in adults, especially in older adults. This is due to various reasons which acts as risk factors and causes of tooth decay in adults. In this article, there is a brief discussion on the tooth decay causes.

Causes of tooth decay in adults

There are many risk factors and causes for tooth decay.

  • Diet:

    Frequent intake of carbohydrates, starch and sugary drinks and foods can increase the tooth decay risk. The sticky, starchy and sweet foods and drinks such as sweets, crisps, pretzels, biscuits, white bread, chocolates and fizzy drinks are associated with tooth decay.

  • Poor dental hygiene:

    Poor brushing habits can lead to the formation of bacterial growth as a thin-film called plaque, which later leads to tartar or calculus formation. These cause demineralisation of the tooth enamel resulting in tooth decay.

  • Tobacco products:

    Chewing tobacco products or smoking can increase a person’s risk of develop tooth decay. The tobacco products interferes with the saliva production, which helps to clean the teeth surface.

  • Dry mouth:

    People having dry mouth are at a high risk of developing decay in the teeth, as decrease in saliva production leads to unclean teeth surface. Dry mouth can be a result of medical treatments and frequent intake of medicines. So, a person with this condition needs to drink 8 or more glasses of water as it helps in saliva production which helps to clean the teeth.

  • Eating disorders:

    Some of the eating disorders such as bulimia and anorexia can increase a person’s risk of developing tooth decay. Patients with bulimia associated with vomiting are at a higher risk as their teeth are exposed to the corrosive stomach acids. Anorexia can decrease the saliva production. This is one of the causes of tooth decay in adults.

  • Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease:

    GORD or Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease is a digestive condition, in which the stomach acids are leaked back out of the stomach into the throat and also in the mouth in come cases. This causes erosion of the tooth surface resulting in tooth decay.

These are a few risk factors and causes of tooth decay in adults.

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