We are taught that, if we take good care of our teeth, we won’t get cavities. This way of encouraging good oral habits may seem logical, but it can create a great deal of frustration for the person who brushes and flosses but still encounters more than their fair share of tooth decay. Here, we will discuss why some people may be more prone to cavities than others.
- Tooth shape. Most cavities are found at the back of the mouth. This is because molars (and premolars, too!) are more “bumpy” than the teeth at the front of the mouth. Molars have deep grooves, and bacteria and debris can become trapped here. Talk with your dentist about what x-rays and the intra-oral camera reveal about your molars. You may benefit from dental sealants.
- There should be a small amount of space in between each tooth. This makes it easier to clean the surfaces that butt-up against adjacent teeth. When teeth are crowded or overlapping, tight spaces become a haven for bacteria and tiny particles of food. Speak with your dentist about the benefits of orthodontic care.
- Dry mouth. Saliva is necessary to dilute sugar and acid in the mouth. Dry mouth can occur as a result of certain health conditions and certain medications, as well as several other factors. Make sure you are drinking enough water throughout the day to support sufficient saliva flow.
- Dietary hazards. We know that sugar is not good for the teeth. Sugar feeds bacteria, and the more well-fed these little buggers are, the more damage they cause to your teeth and gums. Reducing sugary snacks is not where prevention ends. Soda and other carbonated beverages that do not contain sugar also invite tooth decay by degrading enamel. Drink more water and consume less sugar, and your teeth are better protected from cavities.
- Hidden “gut” problems. The gastrointestinal tract holds some power over oral health. Individuals who frequently experience symptoms like heartburn may also experience more tooth decay due to the effects of acidic fluids.
See your Grayslake dentist to discuss preventive care for your healthiest smile. Call Advanced Dental Arts at (847) 223-5200.