5 Little Known Facts About Cavities

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Most us know by know that cavities are bad for you. These can lead to different kinds of dental issues, which is why it is important to prevent them from happening in the first place. Brushing for two minutes two time a day, flossing daily and rinsing with mouthwash is a great way to prevent cavities from forming. But despite our best efforts, there are still instances where we have to see a dentist t get rid of cavities.


Here are little-known facts about cavities that are good to know:



Did you know that cavity is a bacterial infection?

Though it seems that a cavity is just a hole in your tooth, it takes a lot to create that hole. In fact, this pit is caused by a bacteria called streptococcus mutants. Basically, these bacteria break down the sugar we eat and it produces acid as a byproduct. The acid can damage the layer the protects the teeth, which is the enamel. Because of this, the teeth is vulnerable and provide easy routes for bacteria to enter the teeth and continues the process of breaking down the tooth that causes cavities. 


Did you know that timing is important in cavities?

Frankly, we can’t simply eliminate sugar from our diet. Almost all foods, even the healthy ones, have sugars that the bacteria can feed on. But we can decrease the harmful effects of sugar to our teeth. By now we’re familiar with the sugar to cavity interplay, but this entire process actually lasts about 30 minutes from your last sugar intake and not from the time you start eating sugar. So, if you have to eat something with sugar content, it is best to eat them within at once instead of prolonged snacking. You can also eat it during meals so that you have more saliva to wash away the sugars and acts as a buffer against acid. You can also wash or rinse your mouth immediately after eating sugary food. 


Did you know that not all sugars are the enemy?

There are certain sugars that can prevent cavities. The operative word here is “certain”.  Certain natural sugars can stunt and even stop the cavity process and xylitol is one of them. You can find xylitol on numerous mints and gums. These prevent the bacteria from breaking down the sugar into acids. This sugar substitute can even kill cavity-causing bacteria if taken two pieces, 3 times a day and chewed for at least 5 minutes.  




Did you know that you can treat cavities without drilling the tooth?

Certainly, dentists can drill the tooth and apply filling. But there are other ways to deal with cavities, as long as it’s still in the early stages. The earliest sign of cavity is the appearance of a chalky white spot on the surface of the tooth. This means that the enamel of the tooth has begun to demineralize, this is known as the incipient lesion or micro-cavity.  If the damage is limited to the enamel, then there are ways to treat this without drilling. The dentist uses fluoride to strengthen the enamel and make it harder for the bacteria to soften the teeth can cause the cavity. Some dentists use no-drill fillings at this stage. Since the micro-cavity leaves a porous texture on the affected area of the tooth. The treatment uses a mild acid to thoroughly clean the affected area to allow a resin material to fill in the spaces and fortify the tooth. This is why it is important to have regular dental check-ups to catch the problem at its onset, which allows you to have more treatment options. 


Did you know that cavities are a widespread childhood chronic disease?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), though cavities are preventable dental disease, it still remains as the most prevalent chronic disease for children ages between 6-11 years old and also adolescents from 12-19 years old. Actually, children tend to miss about a large amount of school hours per year because of dental issues and other related diseases. 



According to the Canadian Dental Association, about $12.5 billion are spent for expenditures for dental services for 2013 alone. That is a lot of money, and to think that most of these expenses could have been avoided with proper dental cleaning habit, which includes brushing teeth twice daily, flossing every day, rinsing with mouthwash and regular dental visits. www.sierraspringsdental.com

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Published on

Apr 15, 2017