Thanks to many years’ worth of reminders, either from the countless commercials we see on TV every day or the dentist, most of us already know that eating candy and drinking anything sweet can put us at risk for tooth decay. In worse cases, the prolonged consumption of sugary sweets can lead to cavities and quite possibly, tooth loss.

Fortunately, there are many ways to prevent cavities and tooth decay from forming, as well as infecting your teeth and causing damage.

It is important, however, that you first understand how and why cavities form on your teeth.

How Cavities Form

The bacteria found in your mouth love to feast on sugar, mainly refined sugars and fermentable carbohydrates. And, as it turns out, sugary treats are so full of such yummy bacterial treats. If you consume candies or other treats, this results into the melding of both sugar and bacteria, which helps increase the production of acid that then leads to demineralization. Or, to put simply, eating too much candy can lead to the loss of tooth enamel.  This is then when and where the cavities start to form.

Other places where cavities can form are the roots of your tooth once they become exposed, such as in the case of receding gums. Also, if those who suffer from frequent spells of dry mouth are more likely to have cavities form on their teeth.

How Cavities Are Treated

The dentist can salvage decaying teeth through a variety of restorative dental treatment procedures.

For example, dentists can use a treatment called remineralization to help treat white spot lesions or early cavities. You can also make your enamel more resistant to cavities by using fluoride toothpastes or undergoing fluoride treatments that are available at your dentist’s office.

Other types of restorative treatment methods that dentists can use to treat cavities are fillings, pulp capping and root canals. Although, in worse cases, the dentist may have to extract the badly decayed or infected teeth.

Prevention Tips

The bacteria in your mouth occurs naturally. The same goes for the acid that’s produced by the bacteria when it consumes sugar and starches. However, the acid and bacteria are both cleaned off your teeth by your saliva, which also occurs naturally in your mouth.

The problem is when you consume much sugary sweets and beverages all the time. If so, then you’re only making your teeth and yourself open to cavities, as well as a bunch of other oral health complications.

For optimal cavity protection for your teeth, be sure to remember the following tips:

  • Consume calcium-rich foods regularly, such as milk and cheese
  • Change your toothbrush every three months
  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day for two minutes each time
  • Do not forget to floss at least once every day
  • Chew sugar-free gum regularly with Xylitol to help promote saliva production and dispose of some of the natural bacteria found in your mouth
  • Keep yourself hydrated at all times to prevent your mouth from drying out, which puts you at a higher risk for cavities.
  • Visit the dentist every six months for professional cleanings and checkups.

While dentists today certainly do have a lot of dental treatments and equipment at their disposal, preventing cavities is still far easier, not to mention better, than having them treated.

By following the said tips above and making the necessary lifestyle changes, the chances of cavities developing in your teeth could drop down and you should find yourself enjoying much healthier and quite probably, better-looking teeth.

If you think you may be suffering from a cavity, contact Dr. Steven Crandall with South Hills Dental Arts in Upper St. Clair, PA at 412-833-6166 to schedule an appointment today. To learn more about South Hills Dental Arts

Dr. Steven Crandall with South Hills Dental Arts proudly accepts patients from Upper St. Clair, Bethel Park, Mt Lebanon, Peters Township, South Hill and surrounding areas.