Surprising Causes of Cavities

Everyone hates cavities. The very idea of them is an anxiety that we all have when we get check-ups at the dentist. We know that candy and sugary drinks can be a cause of these dreadful divots on our teeth, but the following list discusses other things that can creep up on you and cause little areas of decay in your pearly whites. Here are some surprising causes of cavities.


The beverage that you were told as a child to drink up so that you could become big and strong can actually cause cavities. Yes, it can actually help you with stronger teeth and bones, but since lactose is a sugar, it can cause problems. Cavities develop when the lactose is broken down and turned to an acid, which eats away at teeth. Chocolate and strawberry milk can be even worse because of their added sugars. Doctors recommend, after drinking milk, rinsing your mouth out with tap water since it contains fluoride.

Teeth Grinding

Bruxism, or teeth grinding, is bad for your teeth as well as your jaw, but can actually be a cause of cavities because of the damage it causes. The top layer of your teeth is called enamel. Enamel is hard, but not hard enough to combat the strength of other teeth. The grinding wears away this enamel and exposes the second layer of your tooth, the dentin, which is softer and much more susceptible to decay. Unfortunately, teeth grinding is also caused by stress, which is yet another reason to dread this part of life. Sometimes it is out of people’s control when they grind their teeth, especially during sleep, so luckily there are tools and appliances that people can be fitted for to combat this. 


Speaking of sleep time habits, millions of people cannot help but snore. The sometimes annoying act is a burden for those who do it and for those who sleep near someone who does. But did you know that snoring can actually be bad for your chompers? As you snore, less saliva is produced, which makes your mouth dry. Bacteria have a field day with a dry mouth and produce more rampantly. You can avoid dry mouth while you are awake by staying hydrated or chewing on sugar-free gum.

Excessive Brushing

Many people brush twice a day. Some brush after every meal. And still some brush after eating anything. As frustrating as it might sound, it’s actually bad for your teeth if you don’t brush enough, and it’s bad for your teeth if you brush too much! How can this be, you ask. Well, similar to teeth grinding, excessive brushing does the same thing, wears down your enamel. Many people have grooves in their teeth from over brushing. Dentists recommend brushing twice per day for 2 minutes. Remember to use a soft bristle brush and don’t brush your teeth as if you hate them. Gentle strokes do a lot of work.

Citrus Fruits

Here we are again with another instance of “eat X, it’s good for you” being actually harmful to you. Well at least your teeth. Citrus fruits: lemons, limes, oranges, grapefruit, etc., can be a direct cause of damage to teeth. Remember before when I said that bacteria dissolve sugars into acids, which then damages the enamel? Well, here, bacteria barely need the help and citrus fruits, which are highly acidic and can wear teeth down if the acids are left on teeth for a period of time. Other acidic foods to avoid include wine, pickles, and coffee.

Even though there are these surprising causes of cavities, it’s important to remember that you can still enjoy these thing when they’re enjoyed in moderation.

What do you think?

Written by Damien Cowger

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