whats my risk for tooth decay

What’s my Risk for Tooth Decay

PGA Smiles Oral Health

whats my risk for tooth decayPalm Beach Gardens and Jupiter, Florida

Try as you might, but sometimes tooth decay is inevitable. Even with your best at-home oral hygiene efforts, the occasional cavity may occur, leaving you to wonder what is really causing your tooth decay problem.

Here are common causes of tooth decay that may be affecting your oral health:

  • Oral hygiene is one of the most common causes of tooth decay. Plaque buildup around teeth and gums harbors bacteria that erodes dental enamel, causing infections. If you have an acidic mouth, you are more likely to develop cavities. Although brushing and flossing daily can help, it certainly is not enough. You still should receive dental cleanings and exams as recommended by the American Dental Association. For most patients, a cleanings twice a year is enough, while others may require more frequent visits.
  • Dry mouth is another culprit of tooth decay. Saliva, a natural protectant against bacteria that causes tooth decay, helps neutralize the acids in the mouth, and when there is less of it, your teeth are not protected as well as they could be. Certain medications could be to blame for your decreased flow of saliva. It is important, however, that you consult your Palm Beach Gardens dentist if you experience persistent dry mouth, as this could be a sign of an underlying condition.
  • Snacking throughout the day subjects your teeth to the “bad” bacteria that causes cavities. Foods that contain sugar, refined carbohydrates, or that are highly acidic attract the bad bacteria. We hate to break it to you, but chips, crackers, and other convenient snacks such as these, breakdown in your mouth as sugar. Instead, snack on raw fruits and vegetables, drink only plain water between meals and remember to brush after you eat or at least chew sugar-free gum until you can brush.
  • Oral appliances are notorious for harboring bacteria, which is why you should adhere to the protocol of cleaning your appliances daily, or as recommended by your oral health care professional. Oral appliances such as braces, retainers, bite guards or sports guards, sleep appliances, and partials or dentures need to be cared for as meticulously as your mouth and teeth to help keep bacteria to a minimum. Ask your dentist if you are unsure of how to properly clean and store your oral appliance.

There are other health conditions such as eating disorders or acid reflux that lead to highly acidic levels in the mouth, increasing one’s risk of tooth decay. Sometimes, it is just the natural anatomy of one’s teeth such as deep grooves in the chewing surface of teeth that make cavities a more likely occurrence. If you are concerned that you may be at risk of developing tooth decay, speak to your dentist about prevention methods that are right for you.

Oral Health Care in Palm Beach Gardens

When it comes to your oral health, prevention is vital. For more information about oral health tips or to schedule an appointment, contact PGA Smiles today by calling (866) 668-2922.

PGA Smiles is here to serve patients in the areas of Jupiter and Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.