Dental cavities continue to be one of the most common oral health issues, especially in children. As per an article published by Today, more than a quarter of American adults have cavities that have not been treated.
“Approximately 91 percent of U.S. adults aged 20–64 had dental caries in permanent teeth in 2011–2012,” the report, published by CDC's National Center for Health Statistics, finds. By the time they hit 65, 96 percent of Americans have tooth decay, the survey found.”
What needs to be pointed out is the fact that leaving dental cavities untreated could lead to severe oral health issues in the future, which may even include pulpitis. So how do cavities occur and how to prevent them in the first place? Let’s discuss the formation and prevention of dental cavities.
How Cavities Form?
- The first stage is the formation of plaque. Plaque occurs when you consume sugar and starch and don’t clean them off your teeth. This attracts bacteria to form a sticky substance, called ‘plaque’.
- The acids produced by plaque and tartar erode the outermost layer of the teeth- the enamel. This is the beginning of cavities as this erosion leads to minute holes in the teeth that stretch to the dentin (the layer beneath the enamel).
- The acids and bacteria don’t stop there and continue their destruction path to the innermost part of the tooth- the pulp. The pulp harbors blood vessels and nerve tissues, which can get damaged from bacteria and acids, heightening tooth sensitivity.
How to Prevent Cavities?
There are several ways in which you can prevent cavities. The following are some of the most common ways:
- Use a fluoride toothpaste. It strengthens your enamel and by doing so prevents bacteria from penetrating the outer layer of the tooth.
- It may also be recommended by your dentist, to be rinsing with a prescribed fluoride rinse.
- Avoid sugary foods and those that are rich in starch.
- Rely on tap water more than bottled water, since tapped water usually contains added fluoride. (location dependent)
- You can even consider getting dental sealants to protect your teeth from cavities.
- Visit your dentist at least twice a year, for regular cleanings and check-ups!
In you’re thinking that fluoride is the key to prevent cavities, it does play a major role. However, too much fluoride consumption could lead to fluorosis. Proper fluoride intake and appropriate supervision are essential for the prevention of dental cavities. To serve that purpose, you can get the best dentist for your regular check-ups and cleanings in Airdrie, AB with just one click!