Cavities and Prevention

By Staff Reporter - 27 Dec '18 22:37PM
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Dental cavities are a common problem among people of all ages. Sugar and bacteria in the mouth form plaque, a sticky substance that contains acids that wear down tooth enamel. Specifically, the acid demineralizes the calcium and phosphate content, and small holes are created. Further damage from the acids causes a breach into the dentin layer, and this tooth decay is called a cavity. Cavities are often perceived through sensitivity or tooth pain, and a dentist can detect them during a check-up.

Cavities can be prevented, but some people are more susceptible to getting them, especially if they're predisposed to having weak or thin enamel. Eating sugary foods, and ones that are starchy or sticky, leads to a build up of plaque, and, eventually tartar, both of which cause bacteria and acid to eat away at the hard tooth layers.

You also need to regularly brush and floss teeth to clean them and remove plaque before it hardens into tartar. Flossing then brushing twice daily is necessary to care for teeth at home. And stop by Dentistry on 7th or your local dentist for a check-up and routine cleaning to greatly reduce the occurrence of cavities, decay, and gum disease. A dry mouth, either naturally or as a side effect of medication, increases the risk of cavities because the saliva helps clean and clear the mouth. It's important to brush very young children's teeth for them and then teach them how to brush properly, too.

There are no home remedies or treatments for a cavity. It can't be reversed once the damage is done. Instead, treatment by a dental professional is required to prevent the continuation of decay that could eventually affect the root and nerves, requiring a root canal. The dentist will clean out the affected area and create a dental filling to fill the small hole and seal it.

Dental treatments may include:

  •  Fillings
  •  Fluoride treatments
  •  Crowns
  •  Root Canals
  •  Tooth Extractions

There are a variety of habits and activities you can do to help lower your risk of getting a cavity that need to be practised daily.

Cavity Prevention Tips

Brush twice daily with a toothpaste recommended by the Canadian or American Dental Associations. It should contain fluoride, which helps prevent decay, and it re-mineralizes the enamel damaged by acids. Use a soft toothbrush unless otherwise advised by your dentist and perform the proper brushing technique.

Avoid sugary and sticky snacks and drinks. Drinking soda pop is especially bad because your teeth are continually washed with sugar. Brush and floss teeth after eating starchy foods that cling like chips or pretzels.

Chewing sugar-free gum that contains xylitol after eating can help re-mineralize enamel. Research shows xylitol may raise the pH of plaque, reduce bacteria, and encourages more saliva production.

Eat foods that contain vitamin D and calcium together. Vitamin D is required to absorb calcium, and both are necessary for healthy bones and teeth. Drink fortified nut milk and eat vegetables and other foods containing these two nutrients if you enjoy a plant-based diet.

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