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Causes and Treatment for Tooth Decay

Do you brush and floss but still struggle with tooth decay? Don’t worry — you’re not alone! Tooth decay can be caused by a combination of issues, including host resistance, the food you eat, out-of-balance microbes, and mouth breathing.

To start, let’s take a closer look at these four causes of tooth decay.

Host resistance

Teeth are naturally resistant to acids in the mouth, allowing them to heal themselves if given the needed tools and nutrition. However, when you experience tooth decay due to host resistance, it means that something in your body is creating an environment that allows your teeth to dissolve. 

To get to the root of the problem, see your primary care physician (PCP) to complete blood work, stool sample testing, and food allergy testing. It’s especially important that they look at gut health and vitamin D3 levels. They’ll try to identify any connections to diabetes, leaky gut, celiac and wheat sensitives, and vitamin deficiencies.  

The food you eat

Within your teeth, fluid flows from the pulp chamber, where your nerves and blood supply lives, to the protective layer of enamel. This system constantly feeds and nourishes your teeth. If sugar or gut dysbiosis/leaky gut stops the fluid flow, bacteria and acids from the mouth flow into your teeth, causing decay. 

Your PCP or a functional nutritionist can help determine any hidden sugars in your diet or possible nutritional deficiencies. You may want to increase your intake of fat-soluble vitamins A, D3, K2, and E, which must be eaten with fat in order to get into your body. These vitamins help to feed the odontoblasts, the healing cells within your teeth. 

Bad microbes

Your mouth makes plaque each and every day. A good, healthy plaque protects your teeth from acids and remineralizes your teeth with nutrients from your saliva. It likes a pH-neutral environment and keeps the bad bugs in line. However, If your microbiome ecology becomes unbalanced, the good plaque quickly becomes outnumbered by the bad plaque, which thrives in an acidic environment and feeds on sugars and simple carbohydrates. 

To keep your mouth neutral, eat foods with prebiotics, like apples, bananas, garlic, oats, and seaweed. 

Mouth breathing

The more you breathe out of your mouth, the more clogged your nose gets, which leads to less nasal breathing. When your mouth is open, it dries out and stays acidic. Without saliva, the remineralization process never occurs, and tooth decay thrives. If allergies or a deviated septum is causing mouth breathing, see an ear, nose, and throat (ENT) doctor or an allergist to address the issue.

Now, it’s time to discuss a game plan for how to treat tooth decay!

First, get rid of any pain with fillings. Deep decay needs to be removed and restored. If you’re really struggling with tooth decay, consider booking visits with your dentist every two to three months until it’s under control. 

For at-home care, remember that plaque doesn’t just live on your teeth. It’s also on your tongue, throat, roof of your mouth, tonsils, in saliva, on the lips, and gums as well as on dental appliances, like dentures and retainers. Be sure to clean your entire mouth. If you have any questions, ask your dental hygienist for help.

We hope you’ll choose Maitland Ave Smile Co. when it comes to your dental care!


Call us at 407.834.0330 to schedule your appointment today! Check out our Dental Blog to learn more about topics like restorative dentistry, dental anxiety, and more.