Have you found you are developing cavities all of a sudden? SOMEONE CAN GO THEIR WHOLE LIFE without having a cavity, and seemingly out of nowhere find themselves at the dentist for a filling or two. How does this happen?
Here are some reasons your dental status might be in sudden flux:
Changes In Your Daily Routine
The stress of changes in your daily routine, like starting a new job, starting school, or starting a new habit, can adversely affect your health—oral health included. It may even be the reason for the sudden appearance of a cavity.
Stress affects us all differently, but a common side effect is experiencing a dry mouth. When your mouth is dry, there is an absence of saliva, which helps neutralize the acids in your mouth that cause tooth decay and cavities. If you’re experiencing some of these changes or exercising more than usual, make sure you’re getting enough water to drink throughout the day to prevent a dry mouth.
A New Diet
Another reason for unforeseen cavities may be a change in diet. Are you consuming more acidic foods or drinks? Some common culprits are citrus fruits, tomato sauce, and sports drinks. What about more frequent consumption of sugar or soda? The amount of sugar you eat matters less to dental health as the time of exposure does. Sipping on soda all day can be worse than eating a large chocolate bar all at once.
If you have a sore throat or the flu, sucking on cough drops all day long can easily cause cavities. Try using sugar free cough drops instead. Acid reflux is a digestive system disease in which the stomach acid or bile flows back from the stomach and irritates the lining of the esophagus. This acid can also enter the mouth and erode the teeth and cause decay. Chemotherapy is also a common offender and in many cases results in dry mouth, making one more prone to cavities.
Changes In Dental Habits
♦Are you brushing and flossing your teeth regularly and with the proper technique? This one goes without saying. Make sure your home hygiene routine is up to par.
♦Wait 30 minutes after eating before brushing your teeth. Acidic foods and drinks make your teeth more vulnerable. Brushing when acids are high may cause more enamel to be removed. Give your body time to bring the pH balance in your mouth back to normal levels.
♦Brushing before bedtime (as well as in the morning) is especially important. You produce less saliva as you sleep, which helps neutralize acids produced by cavity fighting germs. In addition, brushing only once a day gives cavity causing germs more time to put holes in your teeth.
♦Avoid overbrushing, as it can damage your teeth and may result in cavities. If you brush more vigorously than necessary, you risk cutting away the protective enamel of the tooth, making it more vulnerable to decay.
♦Flossing once a day is important because it helps remove plaque on teeth surfaces where the toothbrush cannot reach. Similarly, flossing dislodges food particles found between the teeth, which may act as a source for sugar used in acid production for cavity causing germs.
♦Gum recession can also be a result of overly aggressive brushing. Receding gums expose the root of the tooth that is usually below the gumline. The root does not have the enamel covering like the rest of your tooth, which protects it from cavities.
♦Additionally, if you’ve recently gotten braces, you may have noticed that it’s harder to floss and brush than it used to be. Talk to us about how you can improve your technique so that braces don’t interfere with your dental hygiene.
We’re Here To Help
Getting to the root of the problem is the most important thing when it comes to your dental health. We’re here to work with you in treating and preventing tooth decay, so that you can have a healthy life and a cavity-free smile!
Here’s a fun video about brushing for kids or kids at heart!
Yo Gabba Gabba “brush, brush, brush”
If you have any questions or concerns about this topic, feel free to visit Williamsburg Dentist or email them to email@example.com.
Dr. Lisa Curry specializes in general, family, cosmetic, and pediatric dentistry. She received her BA in Biology from Hampton University and received her DMD from the University of Connecticut School of Dental Medicine. Dr. Lisa J. Curry has her DMD (Doctorate of Medical Dentistry) degree from the University of Connecticut School of Dental Medicine (UCONN SDM). She received a top-notch education from a dental school known for cutting-edge research and development of new dental technology and materials. When Dr. Curry graduated in 1997, UCONN had the distinction of being in the top three dental schools (based on National Dental Board scores) for the previous 20 years.