Cavities are uncomfortable, damaging, and can be expensive to fill. The best way to stop cavities from forming is to practice preventive dentistry. But before you begin working on your oral care, it’s important that you understand the underlying causes of your tooth decay. Poor oral hygiene isn’t the only cause of tooth decay – it’s actually far from it. With this blog post, our Denver dentist offers a list of the prominent causes of tooth decay so that you may assess your diet and your habits. Understanding why your teeth are decaying will help you target specific areas in which you can make improvements.
Denver Dentist on Major Causes of Cavities
The common command to “brush and floss” isn’t incredibly helpful because it doesn’t talk about cavity specifics. For some individuals, brushing and flossing won’t actually be enough to stop formation of cavities. Check out the following list to determine other things you may want to change about your oral care-related habits.
Carbohydrates. Carbs of any kind (not just the obvious foods that come to mind like bread and pasta, but also sweets) contain sugars and starches, which react with oral bacteria to release acids. These acids bathe your teeth for up to 30 minutes after eating. The acid also combines with bacteria and saliva to form plaque. This sticky film clings to your teeth and erodes enamel, eventually causing decay.
Carbonated beverages. Carbonated beverages are highly acidic, washing your teeth in acid when you drink them. Soda has the added disadvantage of containing sugar, which creates even more oral acid.
Age. Both young and old: children tend to get cavities because they don’t brush or floss well, and older adults because their saliva production has decreased.
Snacking often. When you eat, your teeth are attacked by acids. Eating three meals a day does less to prolong this attack than frequent snacking.
Smoking. Smoking confuses your salivary glands and reduces saliva levels. Saliva is your first defense against cavities and is vital.
Receding gums. When gums recede, they expose tooth root areas that are susceptible to decay. Gum recession can be caused by teeth grinding or periodontal disease. Our Denver dentist may have a solution for your gum recession, whether it’s a mouth guard, periodontal treatment, or even gum graft surgery to repair the area.
Bottled water. Bottled water does not contain fluoride, an important enamel strengthener. If you choose not to drink tap water for other reasons, ask our Denver dentist for fluoridated dental product recommendations.
Ready to fight cavities at the ground level? Contact our Denver dentist for a dental exam and put these concepts into practice.