Cavities (also called dental caries or decay) are a common tooth problem that affects people of all ages. When the outer layer of a tooth (called tooth enamel) becomes weak, a cavity is likely to form. Fortunately, preventive dentistry solutions with a dentist at Chisholm Trail can help you avoid damaging dental decay.
Fight cavities and enhance your oral health with our dentist at Chisholm Trail, Dr. Matthew L. Bridges. Schedule appointments and request more information from the team at Chisholm Trail Smile Center in Duncan, OK, at (580) 255-4880.
In this blog, we discuss why we get cavities, how they form, and what we can do to avoid them.
Why do we get cavities?
The bacteria in our mouths are largely responsible for cavities. They form a sticky, biological film called plaque. This sticky plaque adheres to the teeth and accumulates, mostly along the gumline and hard-to-reach areas (like between the teeth).
Plaque and bacterial by-products are mostly acidic. This acid can dissolve the tooth’s enamel, leading to cavities.
According to our dentist at Chisholm Trail, There are several factors that can increase the risk of cavities, including:
- Poor oral hygiene
- Frequent snacking without brushing afterward
- Sugary and acidic foods and drinks
- Dry mouth
- Genetic factors
- Certain medical conditions and medications
Dentist at Chisholm Trail Explains How Cavities Form
Cavities form when the tooth’s enamel becomes weak and breaks down. This can happen when the pH level in the mouth drops below 5.0. The acid produced by the bacteria in plaque can lower the pH level in the mouth, leading to demineralization of the tooth’s enamel.
Once the enamel is weakened, the bacteria can penetrate the tooth’s surface and form a cavity. The cavity will continue to grow as the bacteria feed on the sugars in the food we eat.
If left untreated, cavities can lead to toothaches, infections, and even tooth loss.
How can we avoid cavities?
The primary way to avoid cavities is to conduct good, daily oral hygiene. This includes:
- Brushing all surfaces of your teeth at least twice every day with remineralizing toothpaste
- Flossing at least once daily
- Visiting your dentist for regular check-ups and cleanings
In addition to good oral hygiene, there are several other things you can do to avoid cavities, such as:
Reduce Acidic and High-Sugar Foods and Drinks
Yummy treats that are high in sugar and acid can increase the risk of cavities. So. try to limit your consumption of these foods and drinks. Instead, opt for healthier alternatives, such as fruits, vegetables, and water.
Chew Sugar-Free Gum
Chewing sugar-free gum can stimulate saliva production. As a result, it can help neutralize the acid in the mouth and prevent cavities.
Use Fluoride Products
Fluoride helps strengthen the tooth’s enamel and can prevent cavities. Ask our dentist at Chisholm Trail about fluoride treatments at your next dental visit.
Drink Plenty of Water
Drinking water can help flush out the bacteria and acid in the mouth. It can also promote healthy saliva production.
Consider Dental Sealants
Our dentist at Chisholm Trail can apply dental sealants to the back teeth to prevent cavities. These thin coatings prevent wear and tear and keep bacteria at bay.
Meet Our Dentist at Chisholm Trail Today
By visiting your dentist regularly, you can prevent cavities and maintain good oral health. So, don’t wait–contact our dentist at Chisholm Trail Smile Center in Duncan, OK, today! Patients can reach us online here or at (580) 255-4880.