Who is Susceptible to Tooth Decay?
Tooth decay is serious business. Left unchecked, it can lead to cavities, gum recession and can cause your overall oral health to plummet. Sometimes, a good dental hygiene routine is not enough. Some people are more susceptible to tooth decay than others. Hereditary factors and environmental influence can shape your oral health.
What is tooth decay?
Tooth decay is an advanced form of plaque buildup on teeth. When bacteria in the mouth feed on starches and sugars, they produce acid as a waste product. Once the bacteria start to colonize, this acid grows and grows until it starts to eat away at tooth enamel and forms into plaque. This process advances until a cavity is formed and the destruction of the enamel is irreversible.
Tooth decay can be caused by many reasons. Sometimes, even with excellent oral health practices, you can still have signs of tooth decay.
Often the choices we make can affect our teeth without us knowing it. The food we eat and unknown underlying conditions can all negatively impact our oral health. Find out if you are more susceptible to tooth decay based on the following factors.
Oral bacteria needs to be at certain levels to keep your teeth healthy. These bacteria differ from person to person, so the bacteria in your mouth might be more aggressive than others.
To combat these kinds of bacteria, you can keep them at bay with an oral rinse after your normal flossing and brushing routine. Always remember to use a mouthwash without alcohol. Alcoholic mouthwashes can actually produce the opposite effect and cause more bacteria to form due to its drying properties.
Dry mouth is a common affliction where the salivary glands do not produce the right amount of saliva. Without the right amount of saliva, your mouth loses its main defense against plaque buildup.
Saliva is instrumental in the natural cleaning process of the mouth. This viscous material washes away sugars and food particles, and can even help to repair damage caused by tooth decay.
Dry mouth is often a side effect of some medications or advancing age. To fight this condition, rinse your mouth with a mouthwash that supports enamel fortification. Drinking plenty of water is crucial in restoring some moisture to the mouth.
The gums have a very important role in the protection of the teeth. They wrap tightly around the roots of teeth and act as a barrier against the constant flow of debris and food particles. For this reason, when the gums are damaged or receding, teeth are more susceptible to tooth decay. Be sure to take extra care of your gums by flossing daily and using a fluoride toothpaste to stave off gum disease.
Some people have teeth shapes that are naturally more prone to tooth decay. Those who have teeth with deep grooves are more likely to develop cavities since these grooves are harder to clean. Any decay or erosion that happens in these deep grooves occurs closer to the tooth root and is more destructive.
Unfortunately, there is little to be done about tooth shape as it is a hereditary factor. However, you can give your teeth the best chance by conducting a thorough cleaning at least twice each day. Take special care to make sure there are no food particles left over.
Unfortunately, cavities do happen. Left untreated, they can cause more serious issues like root infection and weakened tooth structure. If you suspect you might have signs of tooth decay, do not hesitate to schedule an appointment with your dentist to get it taken care of as soon as possible.
Request an appointment here: https://www.drfrankgalka.com or call Eastside Dental at (414) 888-4000 for an appointment in our Milwaukee office.
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