Dental Care

Dental Cavities Information


You want to obtain more dental cavities information? Now that you've become knowledgeable about the way a tooth is generally constructed, you can learn more about how and why teeth deteriorate. 

Professionals describe the result of tooth decay as dental caries, carious lesions, or cavities.  Some people use those terms interchangeably. 

Others refer to caries as the beginning lesions of decay that can be improved through remineralization of your teeth, through careful cleaning and the use of rinses. 

Sometimes a carious lesion is noted as the chalky white area on a tooth where food acids are attacking the tooth enamel.  Both caries and cavities are words that describe decay, however. 

Dental Cavities Information - The Causes

Let's back up to the causes of dental cavities.  Any attack on a tooth begins with its enamel.  Some of your teeth are smooth with few indentations; other teeth, like your molars and even bicuspids have many fissures and indentations.  The indentations of your teeth, along with your habits of oral hygiene, how much saliva you generate, and what types of foods you consume all affect your tooth enamel. 

The foods that you eat and drink affect your tooth enamel because they are converted into acidic substances that eat away at your enamel.  As for useful dental cavities information you have to know that there are sugars in just about all foods -not only candies and fresh fruits, but even foods that aren't sweet, like breads.  You already learned that there can be billions of bacteria in your mouth at any given time, but only a small portion of them work to convert the sugars into acids.  The parts of your teeth that are most likely to be impacted by this food acid are the pits and fissures as well as the gum lines, where plaque has collected and pooled. 

Caries can begin after just twenty to forty minutes.  The acids from the foods you've eaten mean that the pH level in your mouth is low.  Your teeth cannot protect themselves from decay.  The only way to stop the progress of carious lesions and cavities is to brush your teeth very soon after eating.  Fluoride toothpaste and mouthwash help your teeth to remineralize, along with the natural properties of your saliva. 

Dental Cavities Information on Soda Pop

There is a lot of controversy about the damage done by carbonated beverages.  It's true that if you drink any sweetened carbonated beverage -soda pop- it will damage your teeth if you don't brush afterward.  Some people believe that they can drink as much artificially sweetened beverages as they like without any danger of cavities.  The interesting dental cavities information is that the carbonation in these beverages comes, in part, from phosphoric acid, which will negatively affect your tooth enamel even without sugar.  So whether you drink sweetened or unsweetened soda pop, brush afterwards!  One last question about soda pop is a popular one about the two leading manufacturers of cola:  One of them is NOT more harmful than the other!  

Getting back to the decay process, we've talked about tooth enamel, bacteria, and sugar-and the fourth component of decay is time.   In just those twenty to forty minutes that we mentioned, the hard organic protective coating of your teeth actually softens, even though it's not detectable to you as you go about your daily routine.  Unless you brush away the acids and remineralize your teeth, that softened organic matter will dissolve into a cavity. 

The softening process can lead to cavity activity in about two hours' time.  That's why people who eat continually throughout the day are more prone to cavities; their teeth never have a chance to remineralize, and the pH of the mouth remains low throughout the day. Essential dental cavities information can help you to preserve the good condition of your teeth.

Dental Cavities Information on Smoking

Use of tobacco products is also very damaging.  People who smoke impair their natural ability to rinse away food particles with saliva; the higher temperature of the mouth from smoking dries it up. 

And products that are chewed contain a lot of sugar.  In fact, since use of tobacco causes the gums to recede, tooth decay can spread into the roots of the teeth, which decay much more rapidly than the crowns. 

Protective Strategies and Foods

Dental sealants are very helpful in protecting teeth.  They are made from a thin, plastic substance which is applied to the teeth.  Many dental plans will pay for this in children until they reach the age of 13 or so.  Sealants are generally recommended for teeth with lots of pits and fissures, and they actually smooth out the surface of the tooth somewhat so that it can be maintained more easily. 

Fluoride therapy is also important for your teeth.  Besides the amounts contained in toothpastes or mouthwashes, most municipal drinking water contains fluoride.  If your water source is well water, it is probably not fluoridated, and you should ask your dentist about fluoride supplements.  There are also fluoride treatments that can be applied by a dental professional; again, most dental insurance pays for them in children. 

People who want to be proactive about protecting their teeth can also drink plenty of milk.  First of all, milk contains calcium, which is needed for tooth remineralization.  And most milk contains vitamin D, also known as "the sunshine vitamin."  Vitamin D plays an important role in your body's ability to absorb calcium.  But milk also contains sugar, so be certain to brush afterward!

Many people recommend drinking green tea.  You can drink it hot, or you can replace the carbonated beverages in your daily diet with sugar-free green tea drinks.  Scientists are beginning to explore the possibility that teas also help the body utilize calcium, and green teas won't stain your teeth like the darker ones will. 

Don't forget the benefits of sugarless gum.  The best way to stimulate saliva production is to chew, and sugarless gum won't convert into acidic byproducts. 


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