If you’re one of the millions of Americans who regularly brushes and flosses and still can’t seem to catch a break when it comes to cavities, you no doubt know how frustrating that can be. Most of us would like to think that our commitment to basic oral hygiene would be sufficient to protect our teeth and gums from the bacteria and decay that can wreak havoc in our mouths. The fact is, however, that some people have risk factors that can make them more susceptible to tooth decay.
These bacteria are at the heart of cavity formation, as it collects on the surface of the tooth and forms plaque. Bacteria tends to consume sugars and other carbohydrates, releasing acids that attack the integrity of your tooth enamel to allow penetration into the interior of the teeth. Some people have more of the bacteria that leads to tooth decay, putting them at a higher risk for cavities.
Dry mouth involves a reduction in the amount of saliva in your mouth. Some people produce less saliva than others, and many others have their saliva levels suppressed because of medications. Since saliva is important for neutralizing acids that can cause cavities, this can be a major risk factor for many people.
There are also genetic factors that could make you more susceptible to cavities. Things like tooth shape and other natural structural concerns could leave you open to more instances of decay. Obviously, there’s not a lot that you can do with genetics, other than be even more diligent with your comprehensive oral hygiene and maintenance program.
Gum recession can occur for a variety of reasons, including advancing age. Unfortunately, receding gums can leave the roots of your teeth exposed, causing them to be even more vulnerable to bacteria and decay.
Even your diet can impact your dental health. When your diet is high in carbohydrates and sugars, you’re creating the optimal environment for harmful bacteria to thrive and do its damage. If you’re consuming acidic foods, you could be doing just as much harm to the enamel that safeguards your teeth. You need a balanced diet with whole foods to reduce the risk.
Of course, your oral hygiene could be putting you at risk too – especially if you’re not as attentive to it as you might believe. Have you ever timed your brushing activity? Many who do are surprised to discover that they’re nowhere close to the two minutes of recommended brushing needed to properly protect their teeth. Review your hygiene regimen to see where you might be falling short.
The fact is that there are risk factors that we can control and others that we cannot, but effective oral hygiene and a commitment to regular professional dental care can help to identify and correct potential problems before they become major issues. At Ebenezer Dental, we can provide the preventive dentistry services you need to cope with any cavity risk factor. To find out how we can help you protect your teeth with the best dental services in midtown Manhattan, contact us today.