Cavities form as a result of bacteria in your mouth called Streptococcus mutans. These bacteria produce acids when exposed to increased sugar intake, increased plaque accumulation, etc. These acids cause irreversible changes in your teeth. It begins with an area of demineralization, which is usually reversible if caught early. This progresses with time to involve more and more of the deeper dental tissues and can cause pain if left untreated.
Genetics do seem to play a role in susceptibility to decay. But the primary culprits are poor hygiene measures, avoiding regular dental visits, a diet high in processed sugars, and an acidic diet. Medications, which can contribute to dry mouth issues, and habitual grinding are also a problem.
Your first line of defense is brushing twice a day with a fluoridated toothpaste and flossing at least once a day, preferably at night. Reducing the frequency of food containing processed sugars will go a long way in prevention.
Give us a call at our San Ramon office to learn about measures to keep your teeth healthy and protect them from this cavity forming bacteria.