Common Contributors to Tooth Decay | Reimels Dentisty

13605 Reese Blvd. West
Huntersville, North Carolina 28078
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Experienced Huntersville NC Dentists Catherine G. Reimels, DDS, FAGD
Michael O. Reimels, DDS, FAGD, FICOI
Matthew R. Miller, DDS
Chad Paterra, DDS
AnnMarie Moshos, DMD
Meredith Stalnaker, DDS
Stephanie Guerrier, DDS



13605 Reese Blvd. West
Huntersville, North Carolina 28078
Google Map & Directions


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When it comes to tooth decay, it’s important to know the main culprit – acid. Acid is what eats away at our enamel and causes cavities. Acid can enter our mouths in one of two ways: either directly through what we eat (citrus fruits, for example), or as a byproduct when oral bacteria consume the sugars that we eat. Ultimately, a simple way to identify foods that cause tooth decay is to ask whether it’s acidic or sweet and starchy.

Acidic foods include things like citrus fruits, tomatoes, vinegar, kombucha and sour candy. Sweet and starchy foods include things like candy, soda or sugar-sweetened beverages, fruit, bread, cereal, pasta and crackers. The longer these things interact with your teeth before you have the chance to brush and floss away their residue, the greater the chance for tooth decay to occur.

For example, sipping on soda throughout the day, or chewing a gooey caramel treat at work or school where you may not have access to a toothbrush, increases the amount of sugar that coats your teeth. Bacteria love to feast on this sugar, creating an acidic environment within your mouth and putting your teeth at risk for decay.

To help protect your teeth against tooth decay:

  • Reduce your consumption of sweets and refined starches
  • Enjoy acidic foods in moderation or as part of a balanced meal
  • Decrease or eliminate your consumption of soda or sugar-sweetened beverages
  • Always swish water around in your mouth after meals and snacks throughout the day
  • Maintain good oral hygiene to brush away plaque buildup (floss at least once a day and brush at least twice a day – ideally you should clean your teeth after every meal if you are able to!)

If you are able to diagnose tooth decay early on, there is a much greater chance that our specialists will be able to reverse your oral health with specialized treatment plans and avoid more serious procedures later on. Unfortunately, tooth decay begins with almost no symptoms at all. But there are some tell-tale signs that will begin to show as the decay grows.

Warning signs of tooth decay:

  • Toothaches or spontaneous tooth pain with no apparent cause
  • Tooth sensitivity or pain when you bite down
  • Mild to serious discomfort when eating or drinking something sweet, hot or cold
  • Visible discoloration on the surface of any tooth

And, as always, make sure to schedule regular visits with us at Reimels Family & Cosmetic Dentistry so that we can remove tartar buildup and assess for early signs of tooth decay when damage may be easily reverse through one of our individualized treatment plans! Call us today at 704-948-1111 or schedule an appointment HERE if you are worried about tooth decay or are past due for your regular cleaning!

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