Cavities are one of the most common reasons why you should visit a dentist. It does not matter if it starts small, we all have to check our teeth as well to pay the dentist a visit. Los Algodones dentists recommend appointing a visit at least once every six months, so twice a year.
As to what cavities are, it is the damage done by tooth decay. This damage is first done to the outside, the enamel, and then progresses to the inside, the dentin. This damage is done by the bacteria in our mouths, which feed on starchy and sugary foods. Achieving a good oral habits is important in order to avoid these issues!
How do cavities form?
We mentioned that bacteria are the ones at fault for cavities. And this is heavily influenced by your diet, your oral habits and your intake of fluoride.
As for how cavities form, it all starts with the plaque that inhabits in our mouths. This plaque is a sticky film that slowly harms our te eth and gums and that if left untreated, develops into tartar. It is basically a cluster of bacteria mixed with food, the acid the bacteria produces and our saliva.
When plaque is in contact with our teeth for long, it starts harming our tooth enamel. It slowly keeps going and will eventually encounter the dentin and pulp of our teeth. That is when we start feeling the pain and discomfort from cavities.
Types of cavities
Cavities can come in different forms, so we will briefly explain their different occurrences here:
Coronal cavities: This is the one that affects the chewing surfaces of our teeth. It is the most common one that people suffer. In order to avoid this, dentists usually recommend getting dental sealants if the patient’s molar fissures are deep.
Recurrent decay: When tooth decay appears around existing fillings, sealings or crowns. Generally through the accumulation of plaque in susceptible areas.
Root cavities: When the decay is on the root of the tooth. This is common for people with receding gums such as smokers and elders. As gums recede, they start exposing the root, which is not as protected as the outer layer of our teeth.
How do I avoid cavities?
Taking matters into your own hands and not giving tooth decay a chance, is the best way to prevent issues. Here you have some tips you can follow in order to keep that mouth clean and safe:
- Taking good care of your teeth is primordial for this. Make sure to brush twice a day for 2 minutes each, and to floss once, too. Also keep in mind that you have to target all of your teeth as you use that toothbrush. You do not want to leave spots untouched.
- Drink fluoridated water as well as use toothpastes with fluoride. Fluoride strengthens our teeth like you have no idea. As our saliva, it also helps in the process of remineralization, so the repair is bigger than the loss.
- Keep dry mouth at bay, stay hydrated. Saliva production is absolutely important, and the lack of it is probably the main reason people have some form of cavities. As we mentioned before, saliva also has the role of not remineralizing, but also cleansing your mouth from bacteria and food residues. Los Algodones dentists also recommend sugarless gum, which helps boosting saliva production.
- Keep yourself in good hands by visiting your dentist twice a year. This will grant you thorough cleanings as well as constant checks of how your mouth develops through time.