Most people assume that if they brush and floss regularly and visit their dentist every six months, they won’t get cavities. But that’s not always the case. Good dental hygiene certainly helps but your diet and other factors can affect how prone you are to developing cavities.
Genetics and Your Teeth
Some people have naturally deeper crevices in their teeth than others. This creates a more comfortable place for bacteria to burrow and cause a cavity. Some people also don’t produce as much saliva as others.
Saliva plays an important role in washing away food debris as well as neutralising acids and repairing early tooth decay. Your saliva contains calcium, bicarbonate and phosphate, which are essential in naturally protecting your teeth from decay. Medication, stress, ageing, smoking and autoimmune disorders can cause your saliva production to dwindle.
People with lower saliva production can help by drinking more water. Additionally, your dentist can find ways to compensate for your low production of saliva. Naturally deeper crevices in teeth can be helped with the use of sealant, which provides a protective layer over the grooves of your teeth.
Research conducted in America by the American Dental Association found that lower socioeconomic groups tend to have greater levels of untreated cavities. This is related to a person’s ability to afford or access dental care as well as other lifestyle factors.
People in lower socioeconomic classes are more likely to consume diets high in sugar and are more likely to smoke, creating the perfect conditions for cavities to develop.
Sugar & Tooth Decay
The most significant factor that makes some people more prone to developing cavities than others is diet. Tooth decay is highly correlated to sugar in your diet.
The mouth is full of hundreds of bacteria, many of which are important to the oral ecosystem. But some of the harmful bacteria cause cavities by feeding on sugar in your mouth. As bacteria breaks down sugar, it creates acids that erode the tooth enamel, harming the protective layer on your teeth. The bacteria thrive and multiply between your teeth, causing decay.
How to Prevent Cavities
Brushing and flossing daily with fluoridated products is the most effective way of preventing cavities. You can also reduce your intake of sugar and carbohydrates (which convert into sugar in the mouth) to lower the chance of getting a cavity.
Visit your dentist regularly and address any existing problems as soon as possible. If you need a friendly dentist who offers the highest standards of care in Cannon Hill and Morningside, visit My Dentist at Cannon Hill. Book an appointment online or call us on 07 3902 1023.