Discover The Surprising Factors That Lead To Tooth Decay

September 8, 2021 - By Bruce Michaelson

Tooth decay is a highly prevalent dental problem that affects millions of people worldwide. It can cause significant discomfort, which, if left ignored, could eventually result in tooth extraction. Therefore, you must practice a healthy lifestyle devoid of habits that could cause decay. While it is well known that sugar and poor dental hygiene can damage your teeth, certain things can cause the same level of destruction but are relatively unknown. Therefore, our dentists reveal these factors in this article to ensure that you can take the essential action to protect your teeth.

Eating disorders

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), it is estimated that nearly 70 million people worldwide have an eating disorder. This condition is considered incredibly damaging not only to a person’s mental health but also their physical one. While numerous health concerns could develop due to these disorders, including osteoporosis and organ failure, a common but not highly recognized side effect is tooth decay. 

Your teeth require essential nutrients such as calcium and phosphorus to remain strong and resilient against damage. When you lack these nutrients due to inadequate food consumption, your enamel will become weak; therefore, the acid caused by bacteria buildup will penetrate it easily. Another reason your teeth can become vulnerable is if you have bulimia. The latter is an eating disorder that involves purging after eating. When you vomit frequently, the stomach acid can lead to the erosion of your enamel and increase the risk of cavities.


Tobacco use is dangerous for numerous reasons. It increases the risk of developing oral and lung cancer, weakens your gums and stains your teeth. In addition to these adverse effects, you also become more vulnerable to tooth decay. 

Tobacco irritates the gum tissue and can cause it to pull away from your teeth. When this happens, your tooth roots can become exposed. Consequently, bacteria can easily penetrate through the opening, causing cavities and infecting the pulp. The pulp contains numerous nerves and tissues and is located deep within your tooth. The only way to treat this decay and inflammation is through endodontics, where the dentist will conduct a root canal treatment and remove the pulp. The procedure, while safe, is typically more expensive than a standard filling. 

Biting your fingernails

A highly pervasive habit that many have is biting fingernails. If you are also guilty of this behaviour, it is best to consider stopping the practice. When you chew on your fingernails, you can transfer harmful bacteria to your gums and teeth. It not only causes tooth decay when the resulting acid erodes the enamel, but it can also lead to a painful infection.

It is better to switch to another activity that can help provide anxiety relief but does not affect your teeth to preserve your dental health. These include squeezing stress balls and engaging in yoga. 

Tooth decay can cause significant discomfort and affect the quality of your life; hence, it is essential that you discontinue the above behaviours to reduce the risk of developing them. If you suffer from symptoms of this condition, it is vital that you receive treatment immediately. Contact us at American Dental Clinic and schedule a consultation with our specialists. 

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