Take it from us, cavities are one of the most common reasons why people visit their local dentist.
But what are dental cavities exactly, and why is it important to get them treated sooner rather than later?
Dental Care Group is an Armadale dentist committed to promoting great oral health through education, care, and high-end dentistry. Looking for a new dentist? Book your first appointment with us today!
What is a cavity?
A cavity occurs when there is permanent damage to the tooth.
Bacteria eats away at the inner (dentin) and outer (enamel) layers of your teeth. Cavities are closely associated with tooth decay, one of Australia’s most prevalent health conditions.
As dental professionals, we are very disappointed in you, Australia!
Tooth decay can affect both the inner and outer layers of the tooth. If untreated, it can potentially lead to infection and the complete loss of the affected teeth! Watch the video below to learn more!
Who gets cavities?
Anybody who has a tooth in their head might develop a cavity.
Contrary to popular belief, people of all ages are susceptible to cavities… not just children.
Which just goes to show that regardless of how old you are, you must take good care of your teeth! Not only does your oral health play a big role in the health of your mouth, but it’s also been linked to your overall health, too.
Dental cavity: cause and effect
There are a plenty of potential causes of cavities. And it’s important that we understand each of them so that we can effectively avoid developing cavities – as well as more serious dental health problems – further down the line.
Most of our parents have probably chewed us out at least once for eating too many sweets, tell us that you’d rot your teeth off unless you stopped eating that much sugar.
And guess what? No matter how much you refused to believe it, they were right!
While bacteria eating away at your teeth is the underlying cause of cavities, this bacteria sustains itself by consuming on the sugar that’s stuck in your teeth. Without effective oral hygiene routines, sugar-heavy diets can dramatically accelerate the formation of dental cavities.
Of course, it’s more than just sugar that poses a threat to your smile!
Diets high in carbs, sugars and fats can also be a major contributor to the onset of dental cavities. The process that incurs this is the following:
High starch foods such as saltines and dry biscuits are very bad to your teeth, mostly because they stick like glue! The bacteria of the mouth can turn the starchy residue into acids. This, just as easily as sugar, can lead to tooth decay.
Also, foods which are high in acids are also a challenge when it comes to cavities.
Highly acidic foods break down the protective enamel layer in your teeth, making it easier for cavities to form. That means cutting down on citrus fruits, diet soda and sports drinks, all low in pH!
Poor oral hygiene
There’s a reason dental professionals are always telling you to brush your teeth – and it isn’t because we’re trying to boost toothbrush sales.
Establishing a thorough cleaning routine is one of the most effective – not to mention, one of the easiest – weapons in your fight against cavities. An effective routine protects your pearly whites from cavities by cleaning away most of the harmful bacteria that’s responsible for forming cavities.
Brushing alone isn’t the only part of maintaining effective oral hygiene; flossing, pixtering, and electric flossing are all important too for cleaning out all those hard-to-reach areas that toothbrushing alone cannot clean!
And of course, how could we talk about your oral hygiene without forgetting the importance of regular trips to your Armadale dentist?
You might think that brushing your teeth daily will get you by but whether you like it or not, we need to visit our dentist on a regular basis. Your dentist can help modify your oral hygiene routine, as well as diagnose any underlying oral health issues.
Speaking of which….
Sometimes the causes of cavities have nothing to do with our diet or routine, and everything to do with our teeth themselves.
For instance, people suffering from enamel issues are much more likely to suffer from cavities. After all, the enamel is the protective outer layer of your teeth – without them, the dentin that makes up the insides of your teeth are completely exposed.
Another contributing factor is age. Age is a factor in the erosion of your enamel: the older you become, the weaker your enamel. And the weaker your enamel, the greater the risk to your teeth.
Finally, grinding your teeth: don’t do it! Not only is it an irritating habit to some, but it also causes the slow breakdown of your enamel. Are you waking up in the morning with an achy jaw? You might be a teeth grinder! Speak to your dentist for the right solution and care.
Stop dental cavities! Visit Dr Zelman’s dental clinic in Armadale
Book your first appointment with Dental Care Group!
Leaving your dental cavities undiagnosed is a recipe for disaster. Without quick treatment, you might end up suffering from:
- Difficulty chewing your food
- Tooth infections and maladies
- Tooth abscesses
- Increased risk of damaging your tooth – either through chipping or breaking
- Loss of affected teeth
Avoid these and other oral health problems by making sure you stay away from the major causes of cavities… and, of course, by making regular trips to an Armadale dentist!
If you’re overdue for a dental check-up – cavities or otherwise – contact Dr Zelman and the friendly and experienced team at Dental Care Group.
Don’t wait for the day when dental complications take over your life!