No two smiles are exactly the same, yet an overwhelming number of us share a common issue: tooth decay. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that over 90% of American adults have experienced a cavity in their lifetime. However, does it seem like you tend to get more cavities than other people you know? You may be prone to cavities. Here are the top four factors that can increase your risk of tooth decay and how you can keep your smile healthy.
Your Snacking Style
It’s common knowledge that eating sugary foods causes cavities. However, if you graze on cookies, chips, or other sugary items throughout the day, you’re continuously fueling the harmful bacteria that causes tooth decay.
To reduce your chances of cavities, cut back on how much and how often you eat sugary snacks. Only eat unhealthy foods during mealtimes or drink a glass of water right afterward to brush away any lingering sugars.
Unique Oral Bacteria
All mouths naturally contain bacteria. However, some people have particularly aggressive oral bacteria. When it feeds on sugar, it produces a much more destructive acid that quickly burns through enamel to cause cavities.
Often times, improved oral hygiene is enough to keep your oral bacteria in check. To control over-aggressive bacteria, brush your teeth thoroughly for two minutes twice a day, floss all your teeth, and use mouthwash regularly.
While the crowns of your teeth are protected by your enamel, the roots are covered by your gum tissue. If your gums become irritated or damaged, they may pull away from the teeth to reveal the sensitive roots and leave them vulnerable to decay.
In order to lower your risk of cavities, you need to identify and treat the cause of your gum recession. Your dentist can help you determine if this is being caused by overly forceful toothbrushing, teeth grinding, or gum disease. Thankfully, these issues can all be treated with your dentist’s help.
Your Natural Tooth Shape
Teeth that are oddly shaped or have deep grooves are much more likely to develop cavities. The small spaces they create can easily trap food particles and bacteria. Since these teeth may be difficult to clean, the bacteria can burn through the enamel unhindered.
Regular dental checkups and cleanings are particularly important to those with unique teeth. Your dentist will use specialized tools to clean out those hard to reach places and fight off tooth decay. They can also offer you helpful treatments like sealants, fluoride applications, or dental crowns to help you keep your teeth clean.
While tooth decay is incredibly common, these factors could be causing you to be more prone to cavities than others. When you know what is putting you at a higher risk of tooth decay, you can effectively treat it and protect your happy, healthy smile.
About the Author
At Mountain Stream Dental, we are dedicated to protecting the smiles of Springfield, OR from tooth decay before it even develops. That’s why we encourage all our patients to come in for their regular dental checkup and cleaning every six months. However, if you do end up with a cavity or two, Dr. Benjamin Naylor will use the latest dental techniques to quickly and comfortably restore your healthy smile. If you believe you are cavity prone, feel free to contact him with your questions or concerns via his website or at (541) 345-5363.