Everyone is susceptible to cavities, and I mean everyone. In fact, they are so common and lacking in mystery that most people think they have a good understanding of them. Interestingly, that’s not what we see and hear when we talk to some patients at our practice, so we thought we would take a few minutes to go back to the basics with you.
What is a cavity? “Cavity” actually refers to the hole in your enamel that is formed when you have caries – the bacterial disease that causes them. When the food we eat interacts with bacteria in our mouths, the result is a chemical reaction which produces an acid which can erode the enamel (outside covering) of a tooth. Eventually, a small hole will form in the tooth’s surface. This is a cavity, and it’s an open door to infection and decay.
What is a root cavity? For adults, root cavities are a concern. This is when the cavity appears not in the crown of the tooth, but on the root. Years of gum erosion from brushing too hard, as well as from the natural effects of ageing, causes gums to recede, making the root vulnerable to acid attacks.
How can you prevent cavities? Nutrition is one important component. Tooth decay is promoted by starchy and sugary foods. There’s absolutely no mystery to how to prevent cavities. At home, you should brush and floss effectively, eat a balanced diet, drink water and use fluoride. Fluoride can be found in most toothpastes and mouth rinses. Come and visit us regularly so that together we can monitor your oral health!
© Patient News