What Causes Cavities To Develop And How To Slow Down Their Development


The goal of good oral hygiene and regular dental visits is to prevent cavities. A cavity can cause a lot of pain, and if it isn't filled when the cavity is small, you might face expensive dental work or lose a tooth once the cavity is large enough. Fortunately, cavities usually don't form very fast, so your dentist has time to fill them before they become big problems. Here's a look at what causes cavities and how you can slow down their development.

What Increases Your Cavity Risk

A cavity is caused by acid eating away at the enamel of a tooth. Acid forms in your mouth due to the bacteria that thrive on sugary foods and drinks. If you drink sodas, juice, or sweet tea all day, then your teeth are constantly bathed in sugar that contributes to cavities. Sugar is also present in many foods, and if you have a sweet tooth, you're at a higher risk of developing cavities unless you're meticulous about rinsing or brushing your teeth after you eat.

Once acid starts eating through the enamel of your teeth, the damage grows until you remove the acid. So, the process of developing a cavity stops and starts. This is why it could take months or even years for a cavity to develop into something large enough to cause pain or be visible. Also, the location of the cavity affects how quickly it grows too.

Enamel is thinner at the base of the tooth than it is on the top, so cavities near your gum might grow faster if you don't brush and floss often enough. Consuming sugary foods, having poor oral hygiene, and not seeing your dentist regularly all contribute to an increased risk of developing cavities.

How To Slow Down Cavities

You might be able to slow down or even stop the development of a cavity in some cases. This is more likely when the cavity is still tiny. Once too much damage is done to your tooth, a filling, extraction, or root canal with a crown might be necessary. While acid erodes enamel, once the acid is removed from your teeth, the erosion stops. In addition, your body has the ability to remineralize your teeth under the right circumstances. So, to slow down a cavity and possibly reverse it if it's small enough, eating a diet low in sugar, switching to water instead of sweet drinks, and brushing and flossing at least twice a day might help.

You'll also want to keep your regular dental visits. Teeth cleaning removes tartar, and that helps keep your mouth healthy too. Also, your dentist can find cavities long before they're large enough to cause pain. Some cavities, especially those between your teeth, may not be visible except on an x-ray. If a cavity is found, your dentist may recommend filling it while it's still small so it doesn't grow large enough to cause pain or infection.

About Me

FAQs About Pregnancy and Dental Health

During pregnancy, expectant mothers have to deal with a host of changes to their bodies. I was surprised to learn that part of those changes is to your dental health. I was not aware that hormonal changes could mean an increased risk of gum infection and other dental problems. Luckily for me, my dentist was prepared to handle any problems that I experienced during my pregnancy. I created this blog to help other expectant mothers understand the changes that their dental health could experience throughout their pregnancies and the possible ramifications those changes could have on their pregnancies and the health of their unborn children.

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