March 5, 2020
You always seem to end every dental checkup with at least one cavity while your partner usually ends each appointment with a clean bill of health. Why is this? The truth is that, just like people, no two mouths are created equal. Some people always remain cavity-free when they visit their dentist, while others are more prone to tooth decay. Let’s examine some of the reasons why some people get more cavities than others.
If you’re looking to cut down on the number of cavities you receive, your diet should be the first place you turn. Consuming too many sugary foods and drinks can spell disaster for your oral health. Unless you brush and floss immediately after eating, those sugars sit between your teeth and along your gumline, attracting harmful bacteria that result in tooth decay.
The bacteria in some people’s mouths are naturally more aggressive than in others. When you consume sugary or starchy items, these bacteria feast on the leftover particles and leave behind an acidic waste product that erodes your enamel, or the outer protective layer of your teeth. This is what causes cavities. To combat aggressive oral bacteria, brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, which strengthens teeth against decay.
When you don’t have enough saliva in your mouth, bacteria and leftover food particles don’t get rinsed out. Instead, they fester in your mouth, leading to cavities. You can fight dry mouth by frequently sipping water throughout the day and chewing sugar-free gum after eating to stimulate saliva production.
If your gums pull back far enough from your teeth, it can expose the sensitive roots of your teeth. This leaves them vulnerable to decay. Not only that, but cavities in the tooth roots tend to hurt significantly more than on the other parts of the tooth. If your gums have receded, see your dentist to make sure it’s not a sign of an underlying health problem like gum disease.
Your back teeth, also called your molars, have deep pits and grooves into which bits of food can easily become trapped and attract bacteria. This is particularly more likely since these teeth are harder to effectively clean. To prevent food from getting stuck in these areas, take some extra time to clean carefully around your back teeth, making sure to brush and floss every molar.
While some of these factors are up to genetics, there are a few ways you can offset that by being proactive about your oral health. If you still find yourself wondering why you have so many cavities, ask your dentist for more advice on what you can do to keep them at bay.
About the Author
Dr. Joey Hall completed his doctorate at the University of Texas Dental School at Houston. He has also earned a Fellowship with the Academy of General Dentistry, demonstrating his clinical expertise. He believes wholeheartedly in the power of preventive dentistry, such as at-home brushing and flossing, to decrease the number of cavities you develop. To learn more about why you might have cavities, visit Dr. Hall’s website.
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