Cavities: What’s Your Risk?
When it comes to tooth decay, we are not all on the same playing field. You may brush and floss just as diligently as your neighbor, yet have a higher threat for cavities. There are several reasons that can make your fight against cavities more challenging. Most causes are within your control, yet there are some you can do little about.
To evaluate your personal risk for tooth decay, check out these common cavity causes:
It’s true; you may be able to blame your parents for how prone you are to cavities. The shape and composition of your teeth are typically inherited traits, and they can affect your likelihood for cavities. Your teeth may have deep grooves that make it easy for plaque to build up, which can lead to decay. In addition, you may have been born with weaker tooth enamel, which makes your smile more vulnerable.
Poor Oral Hygiene
We hear this more than ever; poor brushing and flossing cause cavities. This is definitely a leading factor in tooth decay, but one you can absolutely control. Brush twice a day and floss every day. Also, be sure you to see your dentist for regular checkups every six months.
Just because you are not sucking lollipops anymore does not mean you always make wise food choices for your teeth as an adult. Any food that is high in starch and sugars are bad for your teeth. Avoid soda, sticky candy and sports/energy drinks to protect your smile from cavities. If you must indulge, rinse with water immediately following so that harmful sugars and acids do not linger on your teeth.
There are many causes for a dry mouth, including certain health conditions and medications. While it may be true that you cannot always prevent dry mouth, saliva still remains a valuable asset to fight cavities in your mouth. Your saliva neutralizes acids and washes away harmful bacteria from the foods you eat. Ask your dentist for remedies to help alleviate dry mouth and future decay.
Understanding your unique risk for cavities can help you take the necessary steps to prevent cavities. Don’t wait until you experience tooth pain or sensitivity to see your dentist. Most cavities can be detected early and treated easily before a more costly procedure (root canal) is needed.
Posted on behalf of Dr. Paul Gilreath IV, Gilreath Dental Associates