Reading the title of this article, you might be thinking to yourself, “I’m an adult. Surely I already know what cavities are and how they’re formed.” But there’s always room for a bit more knowledge, isn’t there? There’s a lot that goes on when tooth decay occurs, and it’s always important to keep your mouth healthy and fresh, while infusing your brain with more knowledge than ever before. Let’s learn more about the elements that are naturally in your mouth:
- Saliva: While we don’t think much about our spit, this fluid is an imperative part of our mouth, as it protects our oral health like a knight in shining armor. The spit in our mouth keeps our tissues lubricated, as well as removing food particles that may be loose within. The acid levels we have in our mouths after eating will also dwindle down, thanks to the saliva within.
- Plaque: There are a ton of bacteria colonies in plaque within your mouth, some of which include viruses and yeast. When plaque grows within your mouth, bacteria and plaque attach themselves to the teeth and begin multiplying. When you don’t take care of your teeth, this substance thickens and can cause more bacteria to linger in your mouth.
- Calculus: No, your worst subject in high-school isn’t still lingering within your mouth. Calculus is a type of plaque that’s hardened after the basic stages of plaque mineralizes. When the plaque comes into contact with calcium and absorbs one another, the plaque will become hardened and virtually ruin your teeth with calcification.
- Bacteria: We think that this next one is a no brainer, but you’d be surprised at how much bacteria lies within your mouth naturally. There are a variety of different strains of bacteria that stick around, and while some are good, there are definitely bad strains, too. One of the most harmful strains of bacteria include streptococcus mutans. This strain attaches to the tooth and becomes acidic, harming your teeth and making your mouth quite vulnerable.
How Do Teeth Decay?
In short, after you eat food, there’s bacteria within your mouth that ends up producing certain acids. The enamel on your teeth then have to fight for their survival and get attacked by these acids. Foods in sucrose react and produce acids very easily.
While it’s not only the ice cream and other sweets that do this, any foods that contain carbohydrates can produce enough acids to harm your teeth. Since we naturally have bacteria in our mouths, there’s no way to avoid acids being produced in our mouth from foods. You can reverse some lesions by using fluoridated water, rinses, and toothpaste with fluoride.
Stages of Decay
Dental decay typically starts within the tooth, as a white spot makes itself known on a piece of enamel. This area is noted as a weak spot within your tooth. While this stage can be repaired with your saliva and fluoride, other stages may not be so lucky. Adults may see a type of cavity called a chronic caries, and their teeth seem to be stained a darker color – even with standard drinking and eating.
Older adults that don’t get their teeth taken care of or are elderly in general may have a root caries type of cavity, which is decay in the root. This can lead to decay and dry mouth. Of course, decay can even happen under fillings and crowns.
How to Prevent Cavities
In order to prevent your teeth from becoming decayed, you should brush and floss twice a day, every single day. Wait half an hour after eating, to brush your teeth so that you don’t ruin the existing enamel as you brush. In following these steps, you can avoid periodontal disease and keep your gums healthy and your teeth in-tact.
Having trouble with your teeth and want to be seen by a specialist? Contact Weston Dental Office at (416) 247-1928 today.