Tooth decay is fairly common, but that doesn’t mean it’s a welcome situation. The last thing you want is to hear that you have yet another cavity. If this sounds familiar, your mouth is likely up against a specific challenge.
Fortunately, identifying and correct that issue can go a long way toward preventing future cavities and fillings — and we can help.
With the oral exams and teeth cleanings we offer at Family Dental Care in West Palm Beach, Florida, Dr. Sujay Trivedi, Dr. Michael Westcott, and our team of dental hygienists can assess your mouth and help you pinpoint the underlying cause of your ongoing cavity problem.
With that in mind, here are five common causes of recurrent dental decay.
1. You don’t floss or brush enough
This might seem basic, but it bears repeating: brushing and flossing play a direct role in cavity prevention.
You should be brushing twice a day — morning and night — and flossing daily. People generally have an easier time brushing than flossing, so we recommend making adjustments to make it easier. You might keep your floss in the shower, for example, or invest in a water flosser if you really hate working the floss between your teeth.
If you avoid flossing because it hurts and your gums bleed, that’s a huge sign you need to floss more: Bleeding gums are a common sign of gingivitis, or early gum disease. If you stick with it for about a week, you should see those issues disappear.
2. Your lifestyle choices could be better
Your teeth have a hard, protective coating called enamel that should prevent cavities. But the choices you make from day to day can tax that tough outer shell.
Specifically, foods with lots of sugars add plaque to your teeth, which can eat away your enamel. That includes candy and sugary drinks, of course, but it also extends to foods that are rich in carbohydrates (which are sugars).
Similarly, using tobacco products impacts your teeth, increasing your cavity risk.
3. You’re not getting your teeth professionally cleaned
Plaque on your teeth isn’t ideal, but it can be removed by brushing and flossing. If you let it sit unchecked, though, it can harden into tartar. At that point, your at-home oral care routine isn’t enough to remove it. You need professional teeth cleaning.
Getting your teeth cleaned by our team twice a year ensures that we have the chance to remove tartar before it can cause cavities, gum disease, and other oral health issues.
4. You have a dry mouth
Your saliva helps to fight against the harmful bacteria that cause cavities. But if your mouth isn’t making enough of it, you lose that line of defense, and your risk for tooth decay goes up. If your mouth feels dry a lot of the time, let us know — we can help you address the issue.
5. There’s acid in your mouth
If you have acid reflux disease, the small amounts of acid that come back up your esophagus can add up over time. That stomach acid is extremely hard on your tooth enamel, and can leave you more susceptible to cavities.
Eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia can also increase the amount of acid in your mouth, making you more likely to experience tooth decay.
If it’s been a while since your last teeth cleaning, that’s a great place to start when it comes to cavity prevention. Make an appointment here at Family Dental Care in West Palm Beach, Florida, by calling 561-556-1698 or using our online booking tool today.