Why We Get Cavities – Know the Risk Factors
Some people just seem to get more cavities than others, and if you feel you’re one of the unlucky ones, know that about 96% of Canadians get at least one cavity in their lifetime. So even if you brush twice a day and try to look after your teeth, don’t blame yourself too much. Although cavities are largely preventable, a lack of education about the nuances of cavity prevention is often the biggest culprit.
There are some complicated reasons for why some people seem to get a lot of cavities. So if you brush and floss your teeth but notice that you keep getting cavities when you visit the dentist, it’s important to consider the possibility that you might be at extra risk. Learning about the causes for cavities can help you better mitigate this risk and help improve your oral hygiene and the strength of your tooth enamel.
What Are Cavities?
A dental cavity occurs when a tooth or part of a tooth exhibits decay. Teeth begin to decay and breakdown when bacteria builds up in the mouth around the teeth and along the gum lines.
Although there’s no way to heal cavities, strictly speaking, if cavities are caught early enough, most of the time they can be remedied with a dental filling, whereby your dentist will remove the decayed portion of your tooth, clean the newly exposed area and fill it in with a permanent, natural-looking artificial material.
But even dental fillings require an extra trip to the dentist and might necessitate pain relief during the procedure. Plus, treatment of mild cavities can’t reverse the increased risk you are now exposed to of getting more cavities in the future, and any serious cavities you might get in the future could require more invasive treatments.
What Causes Cavities?
There are some common but also lesser-known causes of cavities that could make anyone susceptible to tooth decay. If you are at high risk of cavities, know your triggers and be extra vigilant in cavity prevention so you can avoid those extra trips to the dentist and a potentially major dental filling or even a full removal of a tooth.
Most Common Risk Factors for Cavities
1. Bad Diet
High sugar intakes from lots of carbonated soft drinks and desserts, eating too many highly acidic foods such as grains, dairy products and processed foods, above-average consumption levels of alcohol and a lack of fat-soluble and water-soluble vitamins in your diet all increase your risk of getting a cavity.
A build-up of bacteria is the most common cause of tooth decay. Even if you practice good oral hygiene, some microbe bacteria is natural forming, and some people get it worse than others. If your dentist identifies a lot of bacteria in your mouth, consider an oral rinse to complement your teeth brushing to help fight away this excess bacteria.
3. Dry Mouth
If you suffer from periodic or regular dry mouth, that means you have less saliva to help wash away plaque, sugar and destructive bacteria in your mouth. Incorporate an enamel-strengthening mouthwash into your daily routine to help compensate for this shortcoming.
4. Lack of Fluoride
Fluoride is an inorganic chemical that helps to clean teeth; thus it’s a common ingredient in toothpaste. But some areas in Canada face barriers to additional fluoride exposure. While more than 50% of the populations in Alberta, Manitoba, the Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia and Ontario have medically safe traces of fluoride in their public drinking water, more than 95% of British Columbians live in municipalities with no fluoride in their drinking water at all. If you feel you’re constantly getting diagnosed with cavities, search for mouthwashes with fluoride in them.
5. Pre-Existing Conditions
If you’ve been diagnosed with cavities in the past or your family has a history of excessive cavities, by default you’re at a higher risk of future tooth decay. Make sure to be extra vigilant in brushing twice a day, flossing daily and rinsing your mouth daily with a dentist-recommended mouthwash.
Cavity Treatment at Clayburn Dental in Abbotsford
The dental professionals at Clayburn Dental in Abbotsford have the expertise to detect cavities during a dental checkup, recommend if a dental filling is necessary and also provide you with customized feedback for cavity prevention if you are at high risk.
Call us at 604-852-8487 or request an appointment online today.