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January 13, 2015

Why Do I Keep Getting Cavities

Filed under: Cavities — smtusa @ 4:21 pm

male patientIn a nut shell, cavities are a bacterial disease elevated by sugar intake. There are hundreds of bacteria that can form in our mouths. These bacteria join together in groups we then call “plaque”. Interestingly there are less than 10 bacteria varieties that are responsible for causing cavities. With so few bad bacterial types its amazing how much disease can take place! These bad bacteria for many can proliferate at higher rates than the good bacteria that work to maintain a healthy balance in the mouth. Just having bad bacteria in your mouth does not cause a cavity. In order for a cavity to form you need two components: bad bacteria and sugar. Any time a simple carbohydrate, which will break down into sugar, enters your mouth the bacteria feed on the sugars and produce 20-40 minutes of acid production that attacks and demineralizes your enamel.

 Does this mean that you can never have a treat again? No, although it is best to limit the treat food to mealtime and have a healthier between meals snack. Most important to remember is that each time you have a carbohydrate type snack or beverage with sugar or innocent hard candy, mint or sugar gum your acid clock restarts! For those of you that re frequent “snackers”, “sippers” and /or “candy, mint, gum poppers” your bacteria are at an all-day all you can eat buffet, keeping your acid clock running.

So, what should you do to stop the cavities from forming? A great start is excellent cleaning on a daily basis, suchas using a Sonicare toothbrush and flossing or any aid to clean between the teeth. While you may not be able to control the types of bacteria your mouth wants to make, you can certainly control the amount of bacteria that stays on our teeth. The more bacteria present as we consume sugars equates to a higher amount of acids attacking our enamel. Fluoride treatments are recommended for all ages and best to follow up at home with prescription strength toothpaste dispensed by your dentist. Remember to have regular visits to your dentist. It’s always easier to repair a small cavity that a large one!

To learn more about cavities or preventative dental care, please contact our Altamonte Springs office today at 407-830-9800.

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