Tooth decay is not a problem that any of us expect to encounter time and time again throughout adulthood. Childhood, maybe; but we tend to think that we will, at some point, get a handle on this pesky problem. Most of time, cavity prevention is successful with nothing more than daily brushing and flossing, healthy eating habits, and routine dental care. In some instances, though, it can seem as though the fight against tooth decay will be a lifelong struggle. Here, we will discuss a few of the hidden factors that could be attacking your mouth.
How the Shape of Teeth Cause Tooth Decay
It isn’t that your teeth are turning on themselves. The inherent shape of certain teeth in the mouth, however, can present a unique challenge for many people. One of the most common places that dentists find cavities is on the chewing surface of back teeth. The molars have deep pits at their center. The “peaks and valleys” of these teeth enable them to break down food. However, those valleys can also attract debris. When tiny particles of food become trapped at the lowest part of a crevice, bacteria will follow. An easy way to address this potential hazard is to have your dentist apply dental sealants to teeth with particularly deep grooves.
Most people recognize that severe misalignment can affect the ease with which teeth can be brushed and flossed. Even minor crowding and overlapping also makes it difficult to prevent cavities. Like the grooves on molars and premolars, the space at the overlap or point of crowding harbors debris and bacteria, also known as plaque. Fortunately, there are simpler forms of orthodontic care available today, making it convenient for adults to correct the alignment issues that plague their smile.
Your mouth should never be all dried up. The oral mucosa demands moisture in order to remain healthy. Also, saliva is a must to combat tooth decay. That’s right! Without an adequate amount of moisture in the mouth at all times, there is very little to dilute sugar residue from foods and drinks. Also, acidic byproduct from bacteria goes unchecked when the mouth is chronically dry. Sipping water throughout the day can help.
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In addition to helping our patients bring out the best in their smile aesthetic, we also provide outstanding general dentistry services. Call our McLean office at 703-448-1020.