What Causes Cavities?

Cavities are a drag. No one wants to hear from their dentist that they need to get a filling that day. Knowing what causes cavities can help you prevent them from happening again in the future. Please keep reading to learn about the causes of cavities and how you may be able to prevent them in the future.

We are here to help you get the treatment you need for a healthy smile. Call our office right away to request your first free consultation with Dr. Hamill.

Symptoms to Look For

Many people do not notice that they have a cavity until they sit in a dentist’s chair with a cleaning tool poking the spot of decay. Symptoms typically show up in more progressed cases of cavities.

You may experience sensitivity or spontaneous pain in the tooth that is decaying. The pain can range in severity and usually shows up when you eat or drink something sweet, cold, or hot.

You may not see the cavity, but you may feel a small hole or pit in your tooth with your tongue if you poke around.

Teeth that have cavities are often discolored. The discoloring could be black, brown, or white. These are all signs of dental decay.

The following are what causes cavities in most patients. Please keep reading to learn more.

What Causes Cavities?

The following are the most common causes of cavities. With some lifestyle changes, you may be able to prevent getting cavities in the future. Please keep reading to learn more. If you need a dentist to tend to your or your family’s teeth, please request your free consultation with Dr. Hamill today.

Foods and Drinks

If you enjoy sugary foods such as cookies, donuts, candies, soda, etc., you are more like to have a cavity at some point in your life. This is especially true if you do not do anything after eating these foods to clean your teeth. Whether you rinse your mouth or brush your teeth after eating something sugary, it can significantly reduce your chances of a cavity.

You can be at risk for a cavity, especially if you are a snacker or you are constantly sipping on a sugary or acidic drink. For example, suppose you always have juice, coffee, or soda to sip on throughout the day. In that case, your teeth will be repeatedly coated in sugar or acid, which can cause damage to your enamel, leaving you susceptible to decay.

Lack of Fluoride

Your oral hygiene plays a huge role in what causes cavities. If you do not use fluoride products, your tooth enamel can go through the process of demineralization. Too much demineralization means that fluoride leaves your enamel faster than it is being added back to your tooth.

If you do not have enough fluoride, your enamel becomes weak. Weak enamel is more prone to cavities.

If you use fluoride toothpaste, mouthwash, receive fluoride treatments from your dentist, and eat foods with fluoride, you are far less likely to get cavities.


If you get heartburn or suffer from GERD, you likely have stomach contents leaking up your esophagus into your mouth. Your stomach acid can destroy your tooth enamel.

Maintaining your gastrointestinal health is essential to your oral health if you have chronic heartburn.

Your Free Consultation with Dr. Douglas Hamill

If you have questions about what causes cavities, our Amherst dentist can help. Request your free consultation from us today to meet with Dr. Hamill. Any questions or concerns that you have about your teeth can be addressed upon your first meeting with him. We aim to help you get the treatment you need for a healthy and beautiful smile. We can take care of you and your family’s dental needs.

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