Causes of Tooth Decay

Cavities don’t happen overnight. Plaque forms over time, attacking the tooth’s enamel until the problem festers and can no longer be ignored. But too many sweets and not enough brushing and flossing are not the only causes of cavities. There are some unexpected culprits that make you more prone to developing cavities that are wreaking havoc on your smile.

The Dental Mess That Medications Can Make

Some medications have the unfortunate side effect of causing dry mouth. And when your mouth is too dry, that means there isn’t enough saliva to help wash away food and plaque from your teeth. Your parched mouth becomes a breeding ground for bacteria which can lead to cavities as well as the far more serious gum disease. Hydrating often by drinking water helps, but this won’t be a good enough substitute for the lack of saliva. In order to produce more saliva, you can ask your doctor about alternative medications that don’t have this negative side effect. But if that isn’t an option, seek out products that contain xylitol, a natural sweetener often found in sugar-free gum, that can buffer the acids in your mouth and help restore natural saliva production.

The Negative Side Effect of Weight Loss

Losing weight is, for many people, a time of celebration. But significant fluctuations in weight mean something new is going on with your body, and if you’re not achieving such rapid weight-loss in a healthy way then your oral health can feel the impact. Fad diets in particular are a source of cavities, particularly diets that are heavy on starch consumption which will multiply the bacteria swirling around your mouth. Speaking of carbs, sports drinks are another place where you will find this ingredient en masse. Working out is a great way to lose weight, but it is often accompanied by regular guzzling of energy drinks, and when you’re low on saliva from serious workouts, high on sugars floating around your teeth, and not quick enough to brush or at least rinse with water, cavities will develop.

The Compound Problems of Food Allergies

Undiagnosed food allergies can cause a problem with the consistency of your saliva. There are two types of saliva: thick and thin. Both should be present in the mouth at all times, but when an allergen is introduced into your system, there may be too much thick saliva. As you may have guessed, a thick saliva is going to hold onto bacteria far more readily than thin saliva, which means you have more bacteria sticking to your teeth and gums. Thin saliva has the important job of washing away acids and bacteria, but when you’re experiencing a saliva imbalance, cavities aren’t far behind.

Vitamin D for tooth decay prevention >>

What Are Your Chances of Developing Cavities?

No one is immune to the threat of cavities, but there are some lifestyle habits that can make you far more likely to develop tooth decay. If you snack constantly, suck on hard candies for long periods of time, or sip on a beverage other than water throughout the day without brushing, you’re continually washing your teeth in acids and bacteria. Eating foods that are more likely to cling to your teeth like taffy, dried fruit, chips, and certain candies will also put your teeth at risk. And, of course, there are factors that are out of your control like your age and the location of your teeth (the ones in the back are always harder to clean, which makes preventive care so important). And, of course, inadequate brushing and flossing is a recipe for tooth-decay disaster.

If you do find yourself in the unfortunate situation of having cavities repaired, take comfort in the fact that modern dental innovations allow for under-the-radar repairs to your teeth. No one will ever know you have a filling when you use tooth-colored restorations to fill a cavity. Strong and durable, as well as aesthetically pleasing, these composite fillings match your natural tooth color to restore your smile. Contact Dr. Shaista Najmi at Ivory Dental in Jacksonville, Florida, to schedule your consultation and get on the road to healthy teeth and gums.

Welcome 7am–7pm!

Request Your Appointment Online or Call Today!