Dental cavities are one of the most common oral health problems treated across the world today. Cavities are caused by tooth decay, also known as dental caries. Tooth decay is a process that begins with acids that are produced by oral bacteria, which eat away the protective layer of your tooth, called enamel. If left unchecked for too long, this process will result in a dental cavity. When cavity prevention is not consistently practiced, the result can be a sometimes painful and serious oral health concern.
What are the main causes of cavities?
In your mouth reside hundreds of different types of bacteria. Streptococcus mutans is known to be one of the most common causes of dental cavities. These gram-positive bacteria can easily survive the harsh and ever-changing conditions of the human mouth. During sugar and carbohydrate metabolization, Streptococcus mutans creates an acidic environment in your mouth that facilitates tooth decay. This acidic environment, exacerbated by unchecked dental plaque formation, causes demineralization of your teeth (the loss of minerals needed to maintain healthy enamel). When demineralization outweighs remineralization (the reabsorption of essential minerals), enamel will eventually become useless against infectious, decay-causing bacteria.
What should you do?
Cavity prevention should become second nature for maintaining your oral health. There are several steps that should be consistently followed to prevent the formation of cavities. Brushing and flossing twice daily is essential. Be sure to use toothpaste or mouthwash formulated with fluoride to assist in strengthening your tooth enamel against the invasion of oral bacteria. Eat well balanced meals, and limit your sugar and carbohydrate intake. Also, visit your family dentist every six months for a routine checkup and cleaning, or more often if your teeth are especially at risk for tooth decay development.
ABOUT YOUR FT. WORTH FAMILY DENTIST:
Dr. Bob Jing has served patients and their families across Dallas/Ft. Worth for many years. Together with his caring, compassionate, and highly-skilled team at 7 Day Dental, Dr. Jing is dedicated to making good dental health available to as many people as possible. To learn more, or to schedule a consultation or appointment, contact our office closest to you at 817-405-2001 on Jacksboro Highway, or at 817-405-0195 on Seminary Drive.