What Causes Cavities in Adults?

Cavities take place because of tooth decay. Tooth decay is nothing but the destruction of normal tooth enamel and dentin layer in the teeth. Most of us think that cavities affect only children, but adults are also prone to tooth cavities. In fact, older adults over fifty years of age can even experience tooth decay and cavities.

This is what causes cavities in adults- bacteria plague. The sole responsible bacteria for tooth decay are streptococcus mutans along with other types of bacteria like lactobacillus. They convert sugars and starchy food materials into acid which eventually combines with saliva protein, mucus, bacteria, and food debris to form a sticky thin film on the teeth called plague. Therefore, the actual cause of cavities is the metabolic activity of bacteria forming plague in the mouth.

Weaken fillings-

Adults and older age people can develop cavity in later part of their life due to inadequate of lack of fluoride and no protective dental care during their younger years. Fillings may deteriorate over time, weaken and crack, allowing accumulation of bacteria plague in or around the edges of the fillings and teeth causing tooth decay. Faulty or poor fillings other than crack fillings can also encourage bacteria to invade the teeth. Leaked fillings can also allow bacteria to penetrate inside the teeth pulp. This is what causes cavities in adults.

Sugary cravings-

Sugary and starchy food cravings in adults and elderly adults can make the teeth more susceptible to cavities. When you eat some sweat or starchy food, the bacteria that occurs naturally in the mouth flourish more and eventually destroys the teeth and cause you tooth decay. Thus, eating more sugary foods increases the risk of developing dental cavities as more acids are made when more sugars are consumed. This is what causes cavities in adults and thus, high sugar consumption is considered as one of the causes of tooth cavities in adults as well as children.

Gum diseases-

Gum diseases such as gingivitis and severe form of periodontal disease can cause recession or pulling away of the gums from the teeth resulting in pockets formation. The pockets at the base of the teeth serve as the perfect place for bacteria to thrive and form plague. Bacteria and left over food particles accumulates in these pockets and encourages bacteria growth. Such infected gums and teeth are susceptible to infection and in severe form can result in gum abscesses.

Types of cavities-

  • Coronal cavities- It is common in children, adults and elderly individuals. They are cavities that occur on the crown.
  • Root cavities- Root cavities are common in elderly adults because of the receding gums exposing the root part of the tooth.
  • Recurrent cavities- Cavities in and around the fillings and crowns.
  • Baby bottle tooth decay- Common in small children who falls asleep while feeding on milk or any sweat liquid inside the mouth.
  • Acute or chronic cavities

Now you have known what causes cavities in adults and that cavities can even attack adults and elderly people, it is important to take care of the teeth at every stage of age or otherwise one will end up in doing costly dental works.

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