Cavities. They go hand in hand with memories of childhood for many of us. There is this perception that, once we enter into our adult years, cavities will be a problem of the past. We are now in the age of gum disease and need to be mindful of that more than other general dental concerns. What we have learned in our many years of practicing cosmetic dentistry is that the basis of a beautiful smile is healthy teeth and gums. We’ve also learned that cavity prevention is not equally easy for every patient. If tooth decay remains a constant struggle for you, there could be several reasons why. We are here to help you sort them out, and find solutions to your concerns.
It’s the Pits
Having a cavity is the pits. Ironically, it could be the pits, or grooves, in back teeth that present the problem in the first place. Molars are not flat surfaces. If they were, we would be unable to sufficiently break apart food for digestion. The fact that there are “hills and valleys” on the back teeth, though, means that there is also a greater chance for cavities to occur. This is because debris and bacteria can collect in the lowest nooks and crannies, and become stuck. Molars may gain the necessary protection from dental sealants, a preventive treatment that is just as beneficial for adults as for children.
Getting in Line
Teeth are meant to sit in a straight line, one tooth supporting the next. Misalignment is a common problem that requires many young people to wear braces. What often happens after the initial course of orthodontic care, though, is that one or more teeth relapse slightly into an odd position. Crowding and overlapping do not need to be severe to cause problems. Like the fissures in back teeth, the tiny crevices at the point of overlap invite plaque, which is the first step in cavity development.
We enjoy helping patients of our Palm Beach Gardens cosmetic dentistry practice add beauty to their smiles. General dental care is also vital to the process. To schedule a checkup and cleaning, or to discuss cosmetic dental treatment, call (561) 627-9000.
Is chewing gum bad for your teeth? Chewing gum after a snack or meal stimulates salivary flow, clearing food from the mouth and neutralizing plaque acid. Gum Chewing stimulates saliva production by up to ten times the normal rate. Stimulating the salivary flow changes the chemistry of the saliva. Clinical studies have shown that chewing sugarless gum for 20 minutes following meals can help prevent tooth decay. Saliva stimulated by chewing gum also has a greater buffering capacity, providing more relief from gastric reflux. Saliva plays a significant role in maintaining oral health. We still recommend seeing your dentist regularly for checkups and keep up with brushing and flossing to keep that smile healthy and avoid cavities.