Every mouth is slightly different, but almost all of them share a common issue: tooth decay. According to Delta Dental, 97% of the population will experience at least one cavity in their lifetime. Although it’s a widespread condition, does it seem like no matter how often you brush or floss, you suffer from tooth decay more often than others? You may be prone to cavities. Find out from your dentist what factors in your everyday life could be increasing your risk and what you can do about it!
Natural Oral Bacteria
Your mouth is naturally full of both good and bad bacteria. When they interact with the sugars in the food you eat, they produce an acid that burns through your enamel. Usually, good oral hygiene is enough to keep these bacteria under control and prevent acid from accumulating. However, if you avoid sugary treats and regularly clean your teeth but still deal with tooth decay, you may have over aggressive bacteria in your mouth. This means that when it interacts with sugar, it becomes more destructive and can cause more damage than the average oral bacteria.
The best defense against over-aggressive oral bacteria is a thorough dentalcare routine. The American Dental Association suggests:
- Brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes.
- Flossing and using mouthwash at least once every day.
- Visiting your dentist every six months for a deep cleaning.
Chronic Dry Mouth
Your saliva acts as your body’s natural mouthwash, constantly rinsing off your teeth to remove any lingering sugars or food particles. It even contains minerals that strengthen your enamel. In a dry mouth, the sugar and bacteria in your mouth go undisturbed, allowing them to rapidly create acid and cavities.
Unfortunately, there are numerous factors that can cause chronic dry mouth, including allergies, asthma, medications, exercising, dehydration, and more. No matter what is causing your mouth to dry up, you can encourage the production of saliva by drinking plenty of water throughout the day. If you need additional help keeping your mouth moist, try chewing sugarless gum or getting assistance from your dentist.
Your gums cover the roots of your teeth and protect them from the elements. However, if they become irritated or damaged, they may pull away and expose these sensitive roots. To protect them from decay, use a fluoridated toothpaste and mouthwash to fight against the bacteria and brush away from your gums with an ultra-soft toothbrush to prevent any further gum irritation. Since gum recession is a symptom of worsening gum disease, you should see your dentist right away for a diagnosis and additional treatment if needed.
These are just a few of the things that could be putting you at a higher risk of getting cavities. Other components of your life like your diet, natural tooth shape, or genetics could also be at fault, so it’s important to talk to your dentist about your concerns. They can help you create a personalized treatment plan to overcome whatever obstacles are between you and a happy, healthy, and cavity-free smile.
About the Practice
At Flenniken Dental, our goal is to help you improve your oral health right away so you can enjoy your smile for years to come. That’s why our dedicated team of highly skilled dentists encourages getting a dental checkup every six months. In addition to a deep-cleaning and careful examination, they may also determine to give your smile a little extra support with the help of dental sealants. To learn more, feel free to contact us at our website or at (717) 249-7777.