Tooth decay causes oral health problems like dental cavities, and it affects most Americans to some degree. Oral bacteria grow on top of teeth and coat them. Acids released by these bacteria are directly responsible for decay as the acids bore into the teeth. Tooth decay can cause painful sensitivity to things like heat, cold and sugar, and more severe cases lead to constant pain, infections and even tooth loss. However, minor damage usually goes unnoticed as pain only occurs once a cavity has formed.
Causes Of Cavities:
• Genetics Or Biology
Some people are lucky enough to have super-strong enamel, robust immune systems and ample salivary proteins to kill off disease-causing bacteria.
• Socioeconomic Status
People within lower socioeconomic groups tend to have less access to affordable dental care, and therefore, more cavities compared to those with higher socioeconomic status.
• Personal Habits
Smoking and adhering to a diet that is high in sugars also play major roles in tooth decay and gum disease. Interestingly, these habits also tend to be more prevalent in people in lower socioeconomic groups.
Some people are naturally more prone to cavities than others. However, making a few lifestyle changes can dramatically reduce your likelihood of developing cavities.
• Food choices
• Fluoridated water
• Brush teeth and floss frequently
For people who may be more susceptible to cavities due to one or more factors, brushing and flossing may not be enough to prevent the formation of cavities. A professional dental assessment categorizes the risk for each person, taking into account predisposing conditions, utilizes a thorough dental examination, dental x-rays, and an evaluation of dental plaque. Based on this objective risk assessment, therapy using modern over-the-counter or prescription medications can help cavity-prone people.
One of the most important steps in cavity prevention is visiting your dentist at least twice a year. Consistent dental exams ensure that cavities are caught early, before they cause major damage to your teeth. For more information about avoiding cavities, or to schedule an appointment contact our office today at 203-612-5529.