While many people may think that cavities affect mostly children and that they are caused by sugary snacks, the fact is that cavities can affect a person at any age and they are actually caused by acid, which erodes the enamel.
Sugar can, in fact, be a culprit in the risk for cavities, as can any food or drinks that contain carbohydrates such as candy, cake, bread, cereal, fruit, soda, and even milk. If the food remains on the teeth, the bacteria that are naturally occurring in the mouth turn the food to acid.
While children do get cavities, as we age, changes in our mouths can make us more prone to cavities. Gum recession can expose the tooth roots and make us susceptible to cavities. Decay may also occur around older fillings or in weakened teeth.
Depending upon the severity of a cavity, treatment may involve fillings, inlays, onlays, dental crowns, or in some instances, root canal therapy.
At Biltmore Dental Center in Phoenix, Arizona, Dr. Sameet Koppikar and our staff believe that prevention is the best medicine when it comes to oral health and hygiene. One of the best ways to prevent a cavity is to establish and maintain a trusting relationship with a professional dental team. Twice a year visits to the dentist can identify and resolve any issues such as cavities before they progress. In addition to professional cleaning, patients benefit from an overall oral health screening at such times. Other tips for preventing cavities include:
- Brush teeth at least twice daily and, ideally, after eating. Ask your dentist to recommend the appropriate type of toothbrush or product for your teeth. Gently floss in between teeth to remove food particles and rinse thoroughly
- Mouthwash, if recommended
- Talk to your dentist about dental sealants to protect tooth enamel and help your teeth resist plaque
- Drink plenty of water, but avoid snacking throughout the day
For your healthiest teeth, gums, and mouth, consult Dr. Koppikar at Biltmore Dental Center for an individualized plan of care. Appointments may be booked online or by calling (602) 954-8200.