Cavities don’t happen at random. They’re the result of acidic bacteria that have dug out a hiding place in the tooth. A cavity forms when the enamel wears away from too much acid exposure.
Places where these bacteria thrive undisturbed are the most likely areas to suffer a cavity.
Remember how your dentist gets on your case about flossing? This is one of the reasons why. Cavities most commonly form in between back teeth which are overlooked in the cleaning process. Flossing helps to disrupt the colonies of bacteria and limits their ability to trigger decay between teeth.
All those little grooves you see on the tops of your chewing teeth are great hiding places for cavity-causing bacteria. Food debris packs into those little spaces and provides the fuel bacteria need to do their dirty work.
The kicker is that toothbrush bristles can’t reach the bottom of those little valleys. You can reduce bacterial buildup here with:
Professional dental cleanings
Limiting how many sticky sweet carbs you eat
Root cavities are particularly dangerous because of how quickly they advance. Your roots don’t have much in the way of protection. They lack the enamel layer that covers the crown of your tooth.
After your tooth roots are exposed via gum recession, they become especially prone to developing cavities. At this point, it’s extremely important to make sure you’re brushing and flossing properly and using lots of fluoride.
Do you suspect you have a cavity? For a thorough examination and to find out more about your individual cavity risk, plan a visit to your dentist.
Posted on behalf of:
Gilreath Dental Associates
200 White St NW
Marietta, GA 30060
The news is full of problems about eating too much sugar and too many sweet foods. Obesity levels are at record highs in the United States, and there is a greater incidence of diabetes mellitus in the United States than ever before. Another common problem seen with eating and consuming too many sweet and sugary foods is the damage it does to your teeth.
One of the problems with sugary or sweet foods is that they have little to no nutritional value. So, while drinking that soda that is full of sugar may taste good, it does not fill you up or give your body the nutrients it needs to survive and thrive. This lack of nutritional value is what leads to the common problems mentioned above.
Many wonder what the relationship is between sugary drinks and cavities. When sugary or sweet things are eaten, a small amount remains in your mouth all the time. These bacteria that cause plaque thrive on this sugar in your mouth. In time, the plaque allows for an increased amount of acid to be made in your mouth, and this is what causes the tooth decay and leads to the need for dental resorations such as fillings, crowns, root canals, and even tooth replacement in severe cases.
One of the easiest ways to limit tooth decay is to limit the amount of sweets and sugar you consume each day. If you are going to eat candy, or drink sugary drinks, try to brush immediately after to limit the damage to your teeth. If possible, limit the drinks you consume that are high in sugar. Become a label buff, and read the back of packages and food labels to find out how much sugar is in things.
The healthier you are, the healthier your teeth are.
Most Americans have had dental cavities at some point. In fact, by age 65 over 90% of Americans have had a dental cavity. Having a good understanding of the cause of cavities and how to care for your teeth can help you avoid tooth decay.
While most people think that sugar causes cavities, in reality cavities and tooth decay is caused by the naturally occurring bacteria in your mouth. These bacteria feed on carbohydrates (which sugars are high in) and produce acids that attack the tooth enamel. Also, it’s not a matter of how much sugar or carbohydrates you eat, but the period of time that your teeth are exposed to sugars and carbohydrates.
Constant snacking or sipping sugary drinks is much worse for your teeth than eating a larger amount in a single sitting. In addition, brushing after meals removes the carbohydrates and the sticky film of plaque made up of bacteria and gives the bacteria less time to do their damage.
Acidic drinks and foods don’t directly cause tooth decay, but they can erode the surface of the teeth and provide a place for bacteria to collect and a cavity to form. When the tooth’s enamel is pitted or eroded, it has less ability to protect the tooth from decay.
Not all cavities are painful or uncomfortable. In fact, only the most advanced tooth decay will cause pain and discomfort. For the most part, cavities will go unnoticed until they have caused significant damage to the tooth. This is another great reason why professional teeth cleanings and dental checkups twice a year are important.
Once a cavity is filled by your dentist, the decay stops. However, a cavity can loosen or new decay can start on the same tooth. If there is a void between the filling and the tooth, bacteria will collect and tooth decay will start again.
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