Dental cavities are tiny holes in your teeth. These occur due to permanent damage to your teeth. Dental cavities are also called tooth decay or dental caries and are caused by a combination of factors. Cavities are a common problem and tend to occur more frequently in children, teenagers, and older adults.
Cavities should be looked into immediately so that they do not worsen. If not looked at immediately, they can affect the deeper layers of your teeth and can cause severe toothache, infection, and tooth loss. In this article, we’ll talk about the causes of dental cavities and also how to prevent them.
Causes of Dental Cavities
There are several causes of dental cavities. Some of them are:
- Location of your teeth: It is extremely difficult to clean your back teeth, such as your molars and premolars. These are rather irregular in shape with a lot of grooves and pits. Because of this, food particles collect rather easily in these teeth. These back teeth are also harder to clean than your easily-reachable front teeth.
- Certain foods and drinks: Foods that cling to your teeth are more likely to cause tooth decay and cavities than foods that are easily washed away by saliva. The former include milk, ice cream, honey, sugar, soda, cookies, dried fruit, cookies, hard candy, mints, chips, and dry cereal.
- Frequent sipping and snacking: If you continually sip on sugary drinks or soda, bacteria collect in the mouth. These bacteria produce acids that attack your teeth, causing cavities. Also, sipping on soda or other acidic drinks during the day is tantamount to having a continual acid bath over your teeth.
- Infant feeding at bedtime: If you give your baby bedtime bottles filled with milk, formula, juice, or other sugar-containing liquids, these remain on their teeth for hours while they sleep. This results in the accumulation of decay-causing bacteria in their teeth. This can occur with your toddler as well.
- Inadequate brushing and flossing: If you do not clean or floss regularly, particularly after eating or drinking, plaque forms on your teeth, leading to the early signs of dental cavities and tooth decay.
- Your age: Cavities are common in very young children and in teenagers. Sometimes, older adults are at high risk too. Over time, your teeth can wear down, resulting in receding of the gums and root decay. Certain medications also reduce the flow of saliva in the mouth, increasing the risk of cavities.
- Inadequate fluoride protection: Fluoride naturally prevents cavities and can even reverse the early stages of tooth decay. Fluoride is often present in the public water supply. It is also present in some kinds of toothpaste and mouth rinses. It is important that you protect your teeth with an adequate amount of fluoride.
- Dry mouth: This is caused by a lack of saliva. This can occur due to certain medications, some medical conditions, radiation to your neck and head, or certain chemotherapy drugs. A lack of saliva means that plaque and bacteria are not washed away from your teeth, resulting in cavities and tooth decay.
- Old and worn fillings and dental devices: Over the years, dental fillings and other devices tend to wear down and develop rough edges. Due to this, plaque can accumulate in your teeth. This plaque can also accumulate underneath your dental devices and is harder to remove.
- Eating disorders: Anorexia and bulimia can result in significant tooth erosion and cavities. Stomach acid due to repeated vomiting washes over the teeth causing the tooth enamel to dissolve. Eating disorders also interfere with the production of saliva.
- Heartburn: This causes stomach acid to flow into your mouth. This acid wears away your tooth enamel, causing a great deal of tooth damage. If you suffer from heartburn, you should consult your doctor straight away.
If not treated, dental cavities can cause a lot of complications. These can include pain due to cavities, tooth abscess, swelling, pus around the tooth, damaged or broken teeth, chewing problems, positioning shifts of teeth after tooth loss. While it is important to treat cavities, it is even better to prevent them.
Prevention of Dental Cavities
There are some measures you can take to prevent dental cavities. Good oral and dental hygiene is a must but there are other measures that can help as well. Some of them are:
- Brush and floss regularly: You should brush and floss your teeth regularly at least twice a day and especially after eating and drinking. You should use fluoride-based toothpaste.
- Rinse your mouth regularly: Your dentist may recommend that you use a fluoride-based mouth rinse if you are at high risk for developing cavities.
- Visit your dentist regularly: You should visit your dentist at least twice a year and when necessary. You should get regular dental cleanings and regular oral exams. This can prevent problems such as dental cavities from developing or you can spot them early.
- Use dental sealants: A dental sealant is a protective plastic coating that is applied to the chewing surface of back teeth. This protects your tooth enamel from plaque and acid. Sealants may last for several years, but they also need to be checked regularly.
- Drink tap water: Most tap water supplies have fluoride added to them. However, if you only drink bottled water, which does not contain fluoride, you will miss out on its benefits.
- Eat tooth-healthy foods: You should avoid foods that stick between your teeth, causing cavities. Certain foods are good for your teeth, such as fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as unsweetened coffee, tea, and sugar-free gum. These help increase the flow of saliva and also help wash away food particles.
- Avoid snacking and sipping: If you sip on beverages other than water, you increase the risk of bacteria collecting in your mouth. These bacteria produce acids that can destroy tooth enamel and cause cavities. Also, if you eat certain foods high in sugar, you risk the occurrence of dental cavities.
- Consider fluoride treatments: If you are not getting an adequate dose of fluoride, your dentist may recommend special fluoride treatments for your teeth as a tooth decay treatment.
- Consider antibacterial treatments: If you suffer from a medical condition that makes you more vulnerable to tooth decay, your dentist may recommend special antibacterial mouth rinses. She may also recommend certain other treatments to reduce the presence of harmful bacteria in your mouth.
- Make use of combined treatments: If you chew xylitol-based gum, along with antibacterial mouth rinses and fluoride toothpaste, it can reduce the occurrence of harmful bacteria and acids in your mouth, thereby reducing the risk of cavities.
At Vistadent, the Orthodontic Speciality Clinic, we take great care of your teeth. We will work with you to prevent dental cavities before they occur, by recommending certain measures that will protect your teeth.
We are also adept at treating dental cavities once they do occur and specialize in tooth decay treatment. We work with each patient individually and holistically. We also provide you with treatment for your dental cavities with extreme care and personal interest. At Vistadent, your dentist is an important ally in your fight against dental cavities.
So, if you have dental cavities that need treatment, do consider consulting with Vistadent for an extremely high level of dental care and treatment. Here’s to zero cavities in the future!
For more information about dental cavities or any other dental problems, as well as other dental procedures, contact Vistadent, the Orthodontic Speciality Clinic, at 040-23388111 or +91 9866572482 or at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website at http://vistadent.net/.