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What causes dental tooth decay?

We're uncovering the mysteries of dental decay and revealing five unexpected factors that our Toowoomba Dental dentists usually encounter when treating our patients.

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5 Not-so-surprising causes of what causes dental tooth decay?


1) Sneaky Sugar (Should be fairly obvious):

It is common knowledge that sugar can harm dental health. However, it is important to note that it can be found in unexpected places. Even some seemingly healthy foods, such as flavoured yogurts, fruit juices, and granola bars, may contain sugars that can fuel harmful bacteria in your mouth and lead to decay. This is why it is essential to pay close attention to the sugar content in all food products, even those marketed as healthy options. Too many of our patients fall victim to these 'health foods' that are tooth-friendly.

2) Acidic Foods:

Citrus fruits like oranges, mandarins and lemons are rich in vitamin C but contain acids that can erode tooth enamel over time. If you love these fruits, that's great, but remember to enjoy them in moderation. And don't forget to rinse your mouth with water after eating to neutralise their acidity!

3) Carbonated Drinks :

Frequent consumption of sparkling drinks such as soda, energy drinks, kombucha and other carbonated beverages can cause significant damage to your teeth. The carbonation process used to make these drinks creates carbonic acid which increases the acidity levels in your mouth. This acid softens the enamel on your teeth, making them more vulnerable to decay and cavities.

Over time, the erosion of tooth enamel caused by drinking carbonated beverages can lead to a range of dental problems, including tooth sensitivity, discolouration, and even tooth loss. To minimise the damage done to your teeth, it's best to limit your intake of carbonated drinks and choose healthier alternatives such as water or unsweetened tea.

4) Stress and Teeth Grinding:

Stress and anxiety are among the leading causes of bruxism, a condition where you grind or clench your teeth unconsciously, often during sleep. The pressure exerted during teeth grinding can wear down the enamel on your teeth and, over time, contribute to dental decay. To protect your teeth, it is important to seek ways to manage your stress levels. This can include practicing relaxation techniques such as meditation or deep breathing exercises. Additionally, you may want to consider using a nightguard to protect your teeth from the pressure of grinding while you sleep. A customised nightguard can be obtained from your dentist to fit your teeth comfortably and effectively prevent further damage caused by bruxism.

5) Gentle Oral Hygiene:

Good oral hygiene is important, but aggressive brushing or using a hard-bristled toothbrush can damage enamel and gums, making them more vulnerable to decay. Brush gently and ask your dentist for advice on the best oral care routine for you.



Understanding dental decay is essential for a healthy, bright smile. By being aware of these unexpected factors, you can take steps to protect your oral health and enjoy the spring season. At Toowoomba Dental, we're here to support you in achieving optimal dental well-being.


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