Does any food cause cavities?

This blog post will address the topic, “does any food cause cavities” and cover topics like foods that cause cavities, if you can still get cavities without eating sugar, if apple causes cavities and foods that provide best protection against cavities.

Does Any Food Cause Cavities?

Yes, sugary and starchy foods, citrus fruits, highly acidic drinks and too much sticky foods do cause cavities or may increase the risk of forming cavities.

Foods That Cause Cavities


Sugar and sugar-rich foods and drinks are extremely harmful for your oral health as well as for your overall health.

Sugar allows plaque bacteria to grow faster and significantly contributes to cavity development and tooth decay.

A research study concluded that consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages on a regular basis increases the chances of having dental caries.

Another study reported that all sugars can be fermented by the oral bacteria and are therefore a potential cause of cavities and tooth decay.

Cold Drinks Or Carbonated Drinks

Carbonated drinks are highly acidic and contain a very high amount of sugar, resulting in increased risk of developing cavities.

The high acid content in these carbonated drinks create small pores on the tooth enamel and results in increased susceptibility to cavity-causing microorganisms.

Brushing teeth immediately after drinking carbonated drinks erodes the enamel, weakens it and increases the risk of cavity formation.

White Bread

White bread is broken down to starch and finally to sugar in the mouth. It may stick in the pits and fissures on the tooth surface or in the gaps between teeth, causing bacterial attack and cavity formation.

Whole-wheat brown bread must be preferred over white bread.

Alcohol And Smoking

Alcohol dehydrates you and causes your mouth to go dry. Dry mouth is a breeding ground for all cavity forming bacteria and your chances of forming dental cavities increases multifold.

Smoking also causes dryness in the mouth leading to increased risk of dental cavities or decay.

Citrus Fruits

Citrus fruits are a rich source of vitamin C but they also contain high amounts of acid which is a risk factor for cavity formation.

You should mix them while taking food and must not forget to rinse carefully afterwards.

Sticky Foods Like Raisins

Sticky foods are worst for your teeth and a significant contributor to cavities.

While eating they stick to cervices present on your tooth surface and are difficult to remove. Cavity-causing bacteria accumulate, release acids, weakens enamel and forms cavities.

Can you still get cavities if you don’t eat sugar?

Yes, you can still get cavities even if you don’t eat sugar. The other reasons for you getting cavities are poor oral hygiene, regular brushing after eating acidic foods and drinks and bacterial attack on remnants of food debris stuck in between the teeth and gums.

Apart from sugar, foods rich in starch and carbohydrates also contribute equally to cavities formation. Foods and drinks that are rich in acid weaken the enamel by creating pores in them if consumed on a regular basis.

Brushing after eating and drinking acidic foods and drinks, may lead to cavity formation and tooth decay.

Do apples cause cavities?

No, apples do not cause cavities. Apple contains natural sugar and is acidic but is not responsible for cavities.

In fact, the outer skin of apple is fibrous in nature, which on chewing stimulates the gum tissues, increases the salivary flow and flushes the cavity causing bacteria and microorganisms.

A 2018 study concluded that chewing an apple immediately reduces the viability of salivary bacteria similar to that after tooth brushing.

A study found apples to benefit the periodontal tissues if consumed in the correct proportion.

Some research studies conclude that eating an excess of apples may significantly contribute to cavities and dental caries.

Foods That Provide Best Protection Against Cavities

Calcium Rich Foods 

Calcium plays an important role in enamel remineralization and saliva production.

The remineralization process is essential for the cavity to reverse naturally.

Optimal saliva production acts as a natural cleanser and prevents plaque accumulation and acts as an adjunct in the process of healing cavity naturally.

All thanks to calcium rich foods like cauliflower, nuts, salmons and figs.

Magnesium Rich Foods 

Magnesium is essential for remineralization of the enamel as well as to maintain a balance of minerals like calcium and phosphorus.

Magnesium deficiency will lead to enamel demineralization and weakening of the enamel, halting the natural healing of the cavity.

Leafy green vegetables, avocado and squash seeds are some magnesium rich foods that you can consider.

Phosphorus Rich Foods 

Foods like meat, eggs and dairy products are rich in phosphorus and help in naturally healing the cavity in its earliest stage.

Vitamin D Rich Foods 

Vitamin D is essential for calcium and phosphorus absorption in the body and its deficiency eventually wastes the calcium you intake.

Spending a few minutes in the morning sun gives an adequate amount of vitamin D to the body. However, foods like fish and egg yolks are rich vitamin D sources.

Study published in the journal of dental research concluded that vitamin D is essential for lowering the risk of developing caries in children.


This blog post addressed the topic, “does any food cause cavities”. We understood about foods that cause cavities, if you can still get cavities without eating sugar, if apples cause cavities and foods that provide the best protection against cavities.


Do healthy people get cavities?

Yes, healthy people do get cavities. Sometimes, you might experience that you maintain good oral hygiene and you are healthy but still get cavities. 

Getting cavities depend on a person’s immunity and overall tooth morphology as well as diet.

Are cavities inevitable?

Cavities are not inevitable. There are few people who never get cavities in their lifetime. Brushing twice daily with correct technique and timing, flossing daily, cutting down on sugar, acidic and starchy foods and incorporating calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and vitamin D are effective ways to prevent cavities.

How many cavities is normal?

Having cavities is not normal and even one cavity indicates poor oral hygiene. According to few studies, the average number of cavities in a person varies from one to three.

Does milk prevent cavities?

Yes, milk prevents cavities. According to a study, milk and cheese contain anti-cariogenic components such as calcium, phosphate and casein, which protects the teeth from developing cavities.

Do bananas cause cavities?

Yes, bananas may cause cavities as they are rich in simple carbohydrates favourable for cavity-causing bacterias to grow, eat and excrete cavity forming acids.

However, rinsing your mouth with water after eating such sugary and starchy foods may reduce the chances of developing cavities.

Other FAQs about Teeth cavities that you may be interested in.

Do tiny cavities need to be filled?

Does eating sugar cause cavities?

How do cavities heal without fillings?


The 8 Worst Foods for Your Teeth. (2016)

Rubido, Susana et al. “Effect of chewing an apple on dental plaque removal and on salivary bacterial viability.” PloS one vol. 13,7 e0199812. 18 Jul. 2018, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0199812

Apples: Dental Hygiene Facts. (2017)

5 Amazingly Simple Things You Can Do to Prevent Cavities. (2017)

Can You Cure Tooth Decay (Cavities) Naturally?

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