What Causes Tooth Decay?

Tooth DecayWhat Causes Tooth Decay?

According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, dental caries, more popularly known as tooth decay, are some of the most common chronic diseases in both kids and adults. This is despite the fact that it is a preventable condition.

But what exactly causes tooth decay?

Tooth decay is caused by a diverse number of factors. A Laurel, MD dentist lists the most common causes below.

Poor Oral Hygiene

If you do a poor job of cleaning your teeth, you become more vulnerable to getting tooth decay.

How do you take good care of your teeth and gums? Brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss at least once a day. Brush your teeth for at least two minutes and remember to clean your tongue as well.

Enamel Issues and Deep Tooth Crevices

If you have either of the two, or both, you are highly likely to get tooth decay. This is because the bacteria and plaque in your mouth have room to grow.

To counter this problem, ask your dentist about dental sealants.

Poor Nutrition

If your diet consists of lots of food which are rich in sugar, carbohydrates and acid, you may face tooth decay sooner or later.

Try your best to keep these foods to a minimum and replace these with healthier fare.

Dry Mouth

The saliva in your mouth helps keep the bacterial population inside in check. However, if you are a diabetic, if you are taking medications that affect saliva protection, or if you have a genetic condition, your mouth may become dry and leave you at risk of tooth decay.


Bruxism or teeth grinding while sleeping wears away the teeth’s enamel. This leaves your teeth vulnerable to the attack of the bacteria in your mouth.

Keep bruxism in check by wearing a night or bite guard. You may also consider practicing relaxation techniques.


Some people are, simply put, more vulnerable to tooth decay because of the genes they inherited from their parents.


Tooth decay can become prevalent during old age. However, age may be just one part of a larger equation. Other age-related factors that may come into play include medications which dry the mouth, poor oral hygiene, and recession of gums.

Not Seeing Your Dentist

Good oral hygiene can only do so much for your teeth and gums. You also need to visit your dentist regularly to help keep your mouth healthy.

Regular visits to your dentist in Burtonsville allows you to get your teeth professionally cleaned. These checkups are also a good way for you and your dentist to keep potential problems like tooth decay in check.

Bad Dental Habits You Should Put an End to Now

Bad Dental Habits

Bad Dental Habits You Should Put an End to Now

Having great, healthy teeth is all about observing the right dental habits. Brushing your teeth after meals, flossing, following a smart diet, and paying regular visits to the dentist are all good dental habits that preserve oral health. However, you can easily sabotage the positive results of these habits if you have a few bad dental habits.

So which bad dental habits are the worst? A Laurel, MD dentist has rounded them up below:

Brushing Vigorously

You probably think that brushing really hard is effective in getting rid of food debris stuck between teeth and on teeth, it is — but not really more than brushing gently and properly. The problem with brushing too hard is it scratches teeth’s enamel, which can lead to cavities. Also, it can irritate gums and even cause bleeding. Instead of brushing vigorously to clean your teeth, the Laurel, MD dentist recommends using massage strokes because they’re not just effective in ridding teeth of food debris and bacteria; they’re also so much better for the teeth and gums.

Eating Ice Cubes

If you like to eat ice cubes because you’re anemic or you’re fighting morning sickness, you’re doing a lot of harm to your teeth. The extreme cold is already bad for the teeth, and if you combine that with the hardness of ice, you place your teeth at high risk of breaking or chipping. Instead of chewing ice cubes, drink slushy beverages instead.

Grinding Teeth

Teeth grinding is often done when a person is stressed or agitated. If you have the tendency to clench and grind your teeth, you’re wearing down your teeth and they may become prone to chipping and cracking.

Frequent Snacking

Munching on sugary foods constantly puts you at a much higher risk for cavities. Tooth decay isn’t the only issue you’ll deal with if you frequently snack; bad breath is likely to be a problem as well. Instead of junk food or candy, opt for a sugarless chewing gum; not only will it aid oral health, but it may also help you manage your weight.

Nail Biting

This can wear teeth down and hurt your jaw. You can manage this nervous habit by applying nail polish and keeping your hands busy.

Using Your Teeth as Tools

It doesn’t matter how strong your teeth are; you should not be using them to pop off bottle caps or to tear packages open. This habit can damage your teeth, and hurt other parts of your mouth and your jaw.

One of the best dental care habits is regular dental visits to your Burtonsville dentist at Nicholas Dental Care. Call the friendly professionals today to schedule your routine checkup.


Causes of Bruxism in Adults

Bruxism Causes of Bruxism in Adults

A lot of adults grind their teeth when they sleep. This is an oral health issue because the damage is inflicted when a person is unaware of it. Teeth grinding results in weakened and slightly deformed teeth. Along with this, it can create soreness in the mouth and jaw which, at times, may be accompanied by mild bleeding from the gums.

Known as bruxism in the dental world, teeth grinding is clearly no laughing matter because of the damage and physical discomfort it creates. But what really are the causes of bruxism in adults? Dental and sleep experts have rounded them up below:


A person’s daily routines, lifestyle preferences and tendencies can increase sleep-related issues. The frequent use of psychoactive substances such as alcohol, caffeine, tobacco, and even sleep aids can lead to bruxism.

Psychological factors

Anxiety, stress and other mental disorders can trigger teeth grinding. In fact, a study reveals that 70% of bruxism happens because of stress or anxiety — as if it were a subconscious manifestation of being at odds with situations. Other studies also discovered that people who suffered stress due to dissatisfaction or unhappiness with their shifting work schedules were more prone to bruxism than those who were not. Likewise, the men in this study demonstrated higher levels of work-related stress, depressive symptoms and bruxism whereas none of these symptoms were significant for the women who participated in the study.

Of course, it’s important to mention that not all adults who deal with a lot of stress grind their teeth while asleep. However, for those with bruxism, stress does often play a role in the condition.

Sleep disorders

Research presents that bruxism is quite prevalent among individuals with sleep disorders such as breathing pauses and obstructive sleep apnea, snoring, and parasomnias. It is said that nocturnal bruxism is the subconscious effort exerted by patients to protect their airway during sleep. Of the aforementioned sleep disorders, obstructive sleep apnea presents the highest risk factor because it’s lined with an arousal response.

There are a vast variety of treatments available for this condition. People with this condition can give them a try (as advised by their dentists or trusted sleep experts) in order to determine which is most effective for them. But perhaps, the easiest solution that many can try is a mouth guard; this will help make sure that even if people grind and clench their teeth, these are properly protected so they don’t wear away because these mouth guards prevent teeth-on-teeth action.

If you have additional questions for a dentist in the Burtonsville area, contact the professionals at Nicholas Dental Care today!


What Are the Signs of Teeth Grinding?

Teeth GrindingWhat Are the Signs of Teeth Grinding?


It’s hard to believe that you could be causing damage to your teeth even while you’re asleep, but for a lot of people, this is actually quite real.

Bruxism is the term used to refer to some behaviors that involve the teeth — clenching, gnashing, gritting and grinding — and these take place while a person is asleep. According to one study, one in three people suffer from this condition, and it can affect children and adults.


What Causes Bruxism?

Some of the most common causes of are stress and anxiety. During stressful periods, a person can develop a nervous, repetitive action that is meant to help relieve some of the tension they experience. For some people, this action could be nail biting or hair pulling, while for others, it’s teeth grinding. In other cases, having a hyperactive personality can increase incidences of bruxism because it becomes a way to release excess energy.


It may not be easy to accurately identify whether you are suffering from bruxism if there is no one spending the night with you in the same room who can observe and say for sure that you grind your teeth as you sleep. However, there are some symptoms that you can look out for to help you check if there’s a possibility.


The following are the most common signs of teeth grinding:
  • Dull or flat teeth (or even nubbed teeth)
  • Spots of wear on teeth
  • Worn-out enamel
  • Jaw and tooth pain
  • Indentations on the tongue
  • Damage to the insides of the cheeks
  • Earaches
  • Sensitive teeth


Bruxism Cure?

According to dental experts, while there is no single real cure for bruxism, there are things that you can do to reduce the symptoms. The best option would be to wear mouth guards while you sleep — specifically, night guards. You can purchase night guards from a drug store; these may not be a perfect fit, but they can be very effective in protecting your teeth from the worst of the damage as you grind your teeth while you sleep.

Alternatively, you can have a custom night guard made for you by your Burtonsville dentist. Your mouth and teeth will be properly and accurately measured so that the shape, comfort and fit will be right for you.


You can also observe the following practices to help relieve the condition: reducing stress, consciously relaxing your jaw and face as the day goes on, avoiding caffeine and alcohol, not chewing gum, getting more and better sleep, and drinking more water.


Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bruxism