Cavities or Tooth Decay result from the acid created through the interaction between normal mouth bacteria and carbohydrates. The carbohydrates (sugars) are converted to acid as they are fermented by the bacteria. Tooth Decay begins as the acid breaks down the enamel of the teeth during prolonged contact. Saliva actually helps to prevent cavities by digesting the sugars and in so doing cleaning the teeth. During sleep, saliva production and swallowing decrease significantly. If there are residual sugars in the mouth during sleep, the normal mouth bacteria begin to ferment the sugars producing acid that starts Cavities.
Avoiding the consumption of food and drink (other than water) as well as brushing your teeth can significantly decrease the risk of Cavities. Although Tooth Decay has declined significantly in first world countries Cavities can still be a problem in certain individuals. This is true for people that genetically have weak or thin to non existent Tooth Enamel. It is also especially true for people that allow the sticky film of bacteria known as Plaque to form on the teeth. The adhesive properties of Tooth Plaque permit the acids in the Tooth Plaque to stay in constant contact with the teeth. After prolonged exposure, the ToothEnamel can break down allowing a cavity to form. Consider the following preventative measures in order to reduce and in most cases eliminate Tooth Decay:
- Brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste.
- Clean between teeth daily with floss or an interdental cleaner.
- Eat a balanced diet and limit between-meal snacks.
- Visit your dentist regularly for professional cleanings and oral exams.
- Ask your dentist about dental sealants, a protective plastic coating that can be applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth where decay often starts.
Consider the following conditions that can result from neglected Cavities:
- root canals
- Tooth Infections
- permanent destruction of tooth surfaces
- loss of teeth and poor health!