Tooth decay presents a problem for a large majority of children, causing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to categorize cavities as one of the most prevalent of all childhood diseases. As we grow and develop good oral hygiene and eating habits, most of us expect that this will be reflected in our smile. Cavities, at some point, seem like they will be a thing of the past. This isn’t always as simple as it sounds. For some adults, cavities may continue to strike, even in spite of daily brushing and flossing.
It is our intent to help each of our patients manage oral health with personal care that understands their unique needs. Sometimes, we have to do a little investigative work to uncover reasons for the persistence of tooth decay. Here are some of the common culprits we find.
Danger in the Trenches
Teeth have trenches that we don’t often talk about. What are these trenches? They are the pits, or grooves, which are located on the chewing surface of every back tooth. Each molar and premolar have 4 cusps, high points at each corner. Between the cusps, the chewing surface descends into a valley. This structure is what enables us to chew food. It could also spell trouble. Deep pits can trap tiny bits of food, which will attract oral bacteria. You know what follows.
Saliva or Sahara?
Does your mouth often feel like a miniature version of the Sahara Desert? It shouldn’t, and if it does, you may find yourself at a particularly high risk for tooth decay and other dental problems. Dry mouth, or xerostomia, is a condition to which older adults may be susceptible. It could develop in light of a health condition, such as diabetes, or as a result of certain medications. If sipping on the water every 20-30 minutes throughout the day does not help, speak with your dentist about additional strategies to support saliva flow.
From dryness to excessive acidity to crowding, the conditions in the mouth can either help or hinder the fight against cavities. You don’t have to figure out your oral care all on your own. Schedule a visit with your Houston dentist at (281) 486-8061.