When we think of things that cause cavities, we typically imagine a diet packed full of sugary sweet treats. But our dental office in McMinnville wants you to know that eating a lot of sugar isn’t the only thing that increases your risk of developing cavities. In fact, there are plenty of things out there that can cause cavities that you may be unaware of.
Sure, we all know that sugar is the most well known cause of cavities, but enjoying too many foods and drinks that are highly acidic is also likely to put you at risk. Acid wears down enamel and leaves teeth exposed to cavity-causing bacteria.
Fluoride is a natural element that helps protect teeth. In growing children, it merges with the bone to build super strong teeth. For adults, fluoride hardens enamel which can protect teeth against acid, sugar, and bacteria.
If you have teeth with a lot of deep grooves, chances are food gets wedged way in there and becomes difficult to remove. When this food isn’t removed, bacteria feed on it and produce an acidic byproduct. This leaves your teeth at risk for decay.
Repeatedly rubbing teeth against teeth is a sure-fire way to chip away enamel and again leave teeth exposed. Grinding your teeth can also cause chips and cracks which create a snug little place for food to hide.
A healthy mouth produces a lot of saliva. This saliva neutralizes acid and rinses it away before it has a chance to affect enamel. If your mouth is dry, there isn’t enough saliva around to do this job properly and tends to result in cavities.
Common cancer treatments such as radiation and chemotherapy have saved many lives. However, these treatments don’t come without risks to your oral health. Radiation and chemotherapy tend to cause dry mouth, and as we know, dry mouth is bad news for teeth.
Of course, the best way to prevent cavities is to see your dentist in McMinnville every six months. These appointments help clean away any tartar or plaque buildup that your toothbrush at home can’t remove. They also aid us in catching any problems early while they’re still easy to treat.
If you’re due for your dental check up, call our McMinnville dental office to schedule an appointment.