What Causes Tooth Decay?
The mouth can sometimes serve as an indicator of potential problems that require serious attention, elsewhere in the body. Tooth decay can arise from many causes, and can often be the result of poor oral hygiene.
In fact, dental decay can often signal a broader, more serious issue occurring in the body. Read on for some common diseases that cause tooth decay, and how you might be able to prevent decay.
One disease that commonly causes decay like this is diabetes. Due to elevated sugar levels, diabetes often causes dry mouth and a lack of saliva. Since saliva works to protect the teeth, dry mouth can leave teeth more vulnerable as a result.
Another potential cause of tooth decay is autoimmune diseases. With autoimmune conditions, the body attacks itself in certain parts, such as organs or kidneys. Several autoimmune diseases can impact teeth and the mouth, overall, but the most common one is Sjögren’s syndrome.
People with Sjögren’s syndrome experience a lower amount of saliva, similar to diabetes’ effect on the mouth. Sjögren’s patients sometimes need to make frequent dental trips in order to monitor dental decay and saliva production.
Eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia are severe conditions that can have devastating effects on the body, including the mouth. Eating disorders result in the body not getting enough proper vitamins, minerals, and nutrients to prevent tooth decay. Anorexic patients are more likely to eat sugary food, and bulimic patients may vomit, causing acids to damage enamel.
Decay Heightens Risk Of Gum Disease
Dental decay itself may also cause bigger issues, such as gum disease, which results from bacteria buildup. Gum disease also causes blood sugar levels to rise, which can worsen diabetes and result in a vicious cycle.
If you’re suffering from a disease that could result in tooth decay, schedule a dental visit. A dentist, like our professionals at the office of Dr. Drake, can provide helpful care for tooth decay.