You just can’t deny how important teeth are. We use them to eat which nourishes our bodies and helps us grow strong and stay healthy. They also make up our smile which is a big part of making a good first impression we make whenever we meet new people. People have two sets of the teeth in their lives: their baby teeth and their adult teeth. Once you have your adult teeth, usually by twelve or thirteen, it’s very important to take care of them as you won’t be getting anymore naturally (except wisdom teeth but that’s another story). The most common threat to the longevity of your teeth are cavities.
Cavities are another name for spots of tooth decay on our teeth where tooth enamel has weakened and broken open, exposing the sensitive soft tissues and nerves within. This opens up your tooth to bacteria which can cause infections as well as creating sensitivity to temperature and touch and can even cause difficulty chewing properly. This limits your dietary options and can cause you to not get all the nutrients you need. Cavities are the most frequently diagnosed ailment with which humans suffer after the common cold. But what causes this threat to our smiles? What can we do to fix them?
What can we do to prevent them so we don’t have to fix them?
Our mouths contain live bacteria- most of it relatively harmless on its’ own. These bacteria tend to concentrate and form plaque in places that are hard for us to clean such as in between teeth and right at the gum line. When we eat foods that contain carbohydrates such as sugars (like in donuts and candy) or starches (like in potato chips), the bacteria in our mouths break these components down. This creates acids that bind to the plaque already on our teeth and eat away at their enamel.
Cavities are usually treated by your dentist with fillings. In this process the holes or weakened areas in tooth enamel are reinforced with various substances. This stop the process of decay by denying any further bacteria and acids access to the weak part of the tooth. Fillings can be made of composite resin, amalgamated metals, gold, silver or glass ionomer. Dr. Marra will consult with you to decide which route would work best for your teeth.
As with many things, it’s easier to take care of something than to fix it once it breaks. It’s the same with your cavities. Brushing after meals or at least twice daily with a fluoride toothpaste is recommended to remove the plaque that may have formed. Dentists also recommend cutting down on carbohydrates and keeping yourself properly hydrated. A dry mouth can accelerate the acidic breakdown of your teeth. Daily flossing helps clear away the plaque and prevent the formation of cavities in those hard to reach spaces between your teeth.
The most important part of prevention is regular check-ups and cleanings at your dentist’s office. For those patients in Cohoes New York area, call 518.650.1930 or schedule an appointment online to consult with Dr. Marra at Capital Region Complete Dental Care & Implants. If you think you may be suffering from cavity or would just like a cleaning to prevent them, contact us today!