This is a question I am asked all the time – Why do I always have holes in my teeth? And the answer is far more complex than you might think!


Everyone has different types of bacteria in their mouth which cause holes.  This bacteria  passed on from  mother/father to child has been found to be good bacteria. But the bacteria changes to bad bacteria if the environment changes.  For example: With high sugar diets, hole causing bacteria grow in abundance and good bacteria decrease. We used to ask if your mum or dad had bad teeth as we thought this meant the child did.  But we now know we can change the bacteria if we improve the diet.


We also have different types of enamel.  Some of us have had fluoride as children and will have stronger enamel.  If you were very sick as a child, had a lot of medication and fevers, you are far more likely to have weaker enamel that allows holes to form in teeth easily.  Some people have genetic enamel conditions. These are factors we do not have a great deal of control over.

What can I do to stop getting holes in my teeth?

What we can do is control the environment in our mouth.  If we are more susceptible to dental disease, we have to work harder at controlling the environment to stop holes forming in our teeth.

Obviously good brushing and flossing are critical factors, but we often forget about saliva and diet.
We supply the bacteria in our mouth with sugar, the bacteria convert this to acid and create holes in our teeth.  Tooth cavities are classified as a disease.  Sometimes we have very acidic diets and go straight to dissolving the protective enamel on our teeth.  A critical factor in creating a healthy mouth is a good supply of saliva.  Saliva is needed to neutralise the acids we have in our diet as well as those produced by bacteria.  So start drinking more water today!  At least 2 litres per day is needed to hydrate your body.

Once you have done that you then need to get the saliva glands working.  Chewing sugar free gum is the best way of doing this.  If you don’t like gum, try chewing celery as its full of water and helps to stimulate the saliva glands with the chewing action.

Saliva and plaque testing is one of the most effective tests we can do at your examination, we can determine your risk, identify the cause and start you on a plan to reverse your dental destruction.  Please don’t hesitate to let us know if this is something you would like to try when you book in for your next examination and chat further to answer your question “why do I always have holes in my teeth?”


We are an Accredited Dental Practice and a Member of the Australian Dental Association

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