HELPING YOU TO MAINTAIN your best oral health is your dentist in Manhattan Beach‘s biggest priority. Having at least one cavity is a massive threat to your dental health.
A cavity is a small hole in a tooth that develops from tooth decay. Cavities are formed when acids in the mouth wear down or erode a tooth’s hard outer enamel layer. Eventually, a cavity can progress through the dentin and into the dental pulp.
Proper brushing, flossing, and dental cleanings can prevent cavities. If a cavity is not cleaned out and filled, the decay can reach the tooth’s pulp. In this case, root canal therapy will need to be performed to prevent the loss of the tooth.
The great news is that cavities are totally preventable. Good at-home oral hygiene is the best strategy used to prevent cavities. You must brush twice a day, floss daily, and have your teeth professionally cleaned every six months.
In addition, understanding what causes cavities is another way you can avoid them altogether. Read below for the top 3 causes of cavities:
Your mouth naturally contains bacteria. While bacteria are necessary for specific functions, they can also contribute to cavity formation in your teeth. Bacteria are living things that need to eat and produce waste. The waste produced by this bacteria is very acidic and can eat through the protective tooth enamel.
When there are large amounts of bacteria in one area in your mouth, there is also a high acid concentration. Saliva neutralizes this acid; however, there is too much acid for the saliva to balance at times.
Bacteria in the mouth are living things, and they need a food source to survive. Unfortunately, sugar is their primary food source. Bacteria consume fructose (found in fruit and honey), glucose, and lactose (found in dairy products). Bacteria break down into lactic acid, which is left on the surface of the teeth.
Bacteria also consume sucrose (commonly known as “table sugar” from cane or beets). Sucrose gets broken down into a sticky substance that allows the bacteria to stick to the tooth’s surface. When you consume large amounts of sugar, you allow bacteria to survive, thrive, and reproduce, resulting in more lactic acid and sticky film.
The sticky film produced by the bacteria mentioned above contributes to the formation of dental plaque. Dental plaque is a film that covers the entire surface of the tooth. Since it is sticky, it helps to hold the bacteria on your teeth.
The areas where plaque accumulates are where bacteria congregate in large populations. These areas are at the highest risk of developing cavities. Suppose dental plaque is not removed by proper brushing and flossing. In that case, it will harden into something called tartar, which can only be removed using special dental tools.
Greene and Wood Dentistry is proud to be your dentist in Manhattan Beach, CA. We have years of experience in dental care and oral infection control. In addition to general dentistry professional cleanings, we offer many other dental treatments, such as cosmetic dentistry in a state-of-the-art dental practice.
Please come by and visit our practice. We can’t wait to meet you.