Okemos Dental Services
It All Begins with Your Smile. Award-Winning Dental Care in Okemos & Beyond

Top 8 Reasons Why Cavities Form

Have you been to the dentist recently and he/she said: “Hrmph, it looks like you have a cavity we need to fix”? And then did you think to yourself, “Great, just what I needed” Don’t get too down on yourself, it isn’t completely your fault; there are many factors that go into cavities forming. Now, we could go on and on with a list of reasons or we could tell you the top 8 reasons why an individual, such as yourself, gets to be so lucky to have a cavity.

Poor oral Hygiene: This includes, but is not limited to, failure to properly brush and floss your teeth. Please brush for 2 minutes and floss:

Twice. A. Day.

Also, a word to the wise, brush your tongue and gums, these are areas that harbor bacteria prone to produce acid which cause the cavities. This is an avoidable factor unlike some others listed below.

Improper Nutrition/Sugary Foods/Acidic Foods: Believe it or not, food and drink high in sugar, carbohydrates and in acid contribute to tooth decay. Though we all like to munch on a bag of chips or a bowl of fruit (and maybe a soda pop every once in a while), avoiding these will protect your teeth from future damage. You may ask yourself why these types of foods are bad for your teeth… here’s why: sugar feeds the bacteria (which produces acid) known to cause cavities, carbohydrates is that similar to sugar, and acid damages the tooth enamel immediately.

Dry Mouth: Remember this: Saliva is your friend. Saliva inhibits the growth of plaque, which ultimately is an abundance of bacteria. Try to alleviate your dry mouth with products such as Biotene. Your dry mouth can be caused by prescription medications, genetics, or medical conditions such as Diabetes.

Enamel Issues: Person’s with enamel issues such as acid erosion, deep crevices, or abfractions (notched out areas near the gum line) can be prone to cavities. These grooves are where the bacteria can fester in for long periods of time and, you guessed it, cause cavities if left alone too long. It’s best to have preventive measures taken such as dental sealants and fluoride.

Tooth Grinding: Most of us are under some kind of stress so unfortunately, our teeth are the ones that take a toll while said stress is occurring. Some of us, though, do not realize we are grinding our teeth while under stress. This grinding action (teeth sliding across one another back and forth) breaks down and wears away the enamel. This weakens the tooth as a whole and can put many tooth surfaces at risk of obtaining a cavity.

Genetics: No, you can’t blame your parents (or your grandparents) for “bad teeth”. BUT, you can blame them for the deep crevices and enamel issues that have been genetically passed down to you. Again, lucky you, right?


Age: “Age ain’t nothin but a number”, BUT it could be a reason why you got a cavity. Some reasons this could be a factor include common prescription medications which cause dry mouth, the recession of gums with age, and poor oral hygiene. A friendly reminder: You’re only as old as you feel; you should take care of your teeth so it eliminates a factor.

Avoiding the DDS: Unlike the medical profession in which an apple a day may keep the doctor away, apples won’t help keep the dentist away. You may want to consider checking in with the dentist for your 6-month cleanings and exams to stray away from cavities.

If this list isn’t enough for you to want to maintain (or obtain) cavity free teeth, then make an appointment to see us today to do so!