From the time most people are children, the most common threat they hear about is cavities. Also known as dental caries, cavities are craters that develop in your teeth due to decay. While they start small and are barely noticeable at first, cavities can grow to the point where they’ll destroy your teeth if left untreated. Explore some of the most useful things to know about the most common dental threat, dental caries.
To understand why cavities are dangerous is easy – they result in holes in your teeth. These craters and holes in your teeth diminish their strength and weaken them, making them vulnerable to further damage. Plus, the craters or holes are likely to cause significant discomfort and pain, especially when chewing and speaking. Ultimately, cavities are damaging to your teeth and will get far worse the longer they’re left untreated.
Dental caries is a result of decay spreading on and within the tooth. When sugar accumulates on the surface of the teeth, it attracts bacteria, and that bacteria forms plaque, which is the film-like substance on your teeth. As the bacteria feed on sugars, it leaves behind acids that corrode the teeth, eventually damaging their outer layer, the enamel. These cavities start as small dents in the teeth, but can quickly become painful holes that threaten the tooth itself.
Preventing cavities is a matter of excellent oral care at home and keeping up with your biannual dental appointments. Since cavities are caused by the bacteria in your mouth, the key to preventing or reducing them is to manage this bacteria and remove it from your teeth. Here’s how excellent oral care at home combined with your biannual dental appointments can prevent cavities from wreaking havoc on your smile:
In addition to brushing your teeth twice per day and flossing once daily, there are other measures you can take to stop a cavity problem before it starts. For example, you can buy cavity control toothpaste and mouthwashes that are designed to specifically fight bacteria. By simply keeping up with your oral care at home, you’ll be doing a lot to prevent tooth decay.
One unique aspect about cavities is that they’re difficult to find in their earliest stages. However, with x-rays, dental tools, and the knowledge of exactly what to look for, your dentist is able to go in and find them, which allows treatment to begin before your cavities spread throughout your mouth. Finding diseases in their earliest stages is one of the many reasons to never skip a dental appointment.
It’s no surprise that the number one cause of dental problems, including dental caries and gum disease, is excess sugar sticking to the teeth. By choosing foods that are low in sugar, you’ll be preventing the source of the problem in the first place. This requires some active label reading, however, since a wide variety of foods, including BBQ sauce and rice, are loaded with excess sugar. Making an effort to minimize sugar in your diet plan will help greatly when keeping your smile healthy.
With experience in the technology and services necessary to keep your smile strong and free of cavities, you can count on our team at Snyder and Dugan to ensure that your mouth stays fresh and healthy. By simply attending your biannual dental appointments, you give us the opportunity to catch dental problems and treat them in their earliest stages. Contact us today to schedule your next appointment – we look forward to seeing you.