Posts for: April, 2022
If you have never gotten a cavity, consider yourself lucky! According to the Mayo Clinic, cavities are one of the world's most common health problems. The website dentistry.edu, an education resource for those in the dental profession, notes that one in four adults have cavities at any given time. Some people are more prone to cavities than others due to factors like genetics, diet, oral hygiene, and overall bone health. The good news is that cavities, if detected early and treated, can stop growing or spreading. If small enough, they can even be treated without a filling.
What Causes Cavities?
There are several factors that can create an overall picture of your oral health, including cavities. Some of the most common factors are simply tooth location and access. Cavities in your back teeth are far more common than your front teeth, simply because it is harder to brush and floss correctly the further back you go. Back teeth also have more ridges and grooves that can collect tooth decaying bacteria. It is very important that you floss these areas often, and keep them as clean as your smoother front teeth.
Food and drink choice also has an impact on your overall health. We have been warned since we were children about candy and sweets, but there are also lots of drinks and foods that are acidic and corrosive that may contain no sugar at all. As mentioned in earlier blogs, the duration of time you spend nursing a drink can also be increasing your chance of a cavity, so if you are going to drink a soda or sweet tea, don't bathe your teeth in sugar or acid all day. Have your beverage in one setting, then rinse and brush.
The other major causes of cavities are inadequate brushing, eating disorders, infrequent flossing, heartburn, not enough fluoride, age, and worn or aging dental work. These cavities, if left untreated, can cause pain, tooth wear, bad breath and odors, swelling and abscesses, and chewing problems that can lead to choking hazards. It is very important to treat cavities early, and some are too small to be detected with the naked eye, so remember not to skip your annual x-rays and cleanings.
Can Cavities Be Reversed?
While technically, there is no way to regrow the bone tissue once it has receded, some cavities can be stopped in their tracks before more aggressive intervention such as deep cleaning or fillings must be used to mitigate the damage. Prevention is the best way to avoid cavities. Flossing, fluoride wash, yearly or twice yearly cleanings, and proper brushing are all vastly more affordable methods of controlling cavities than waiting until you are in pain or can visibly see a cavity before visiting your dentist.
Bendel Family Dentistry accepts most dental insurance, including the dental insurance offered to education professionals at LPSS and the Diocese of Lafayette. With insurance, most first visits have no out of pocket cost to the patient, and cover X-Rays, cleaning, and a whole mouth health exam by a licensed dentist. We want to be your dentist for life! Call us today for a free benefits check.