Dental cavities, also known as caries or tooth decay, are by far the most common oral disease affecting the hard structure of the tooth. Cavities are also the most preventable dental disease.
What are cavities?
Cavities are the melting of the hard outer layer of the tooth leading to a hole in that tooth.
What causes cavities?
Bacteria in our mouth feed on the carbohydrates in our diet. These bacteria produce acids which attack the tooth’s hard structure and cause it to erode.
Cavities are also the most preventable dental disease.
How can we prevent cavity formation?
There are three strategies we can use:
- Alter our snacking habits. By reducing our carbohydrate intake, the bacteria in our mouths is starved and can no longer produce the harmful acids that corrode our teeth.
- Strengthen the tooth structure to make it more resistant to the acid produced by the bacteria.
- Reduce the number of bacteria in our mouth so we have less acids produced.
How do we determine which strategy is best for you?
Depending on each individual “risk profile”, we choose the strategy that has the best chance of reducing cavities in the future. We call this process “Caries Management By Risk Assessment”. To read more about caries management, see our posts on CAMBRA.
Are cavities transmissible?
Cavities aren’t contagious, but bacteria is. Cavities are caused by bacteria in the mouth. These bacteria are most often transferred to our mouths as babies from our caregivers. Studies have shown, however, that if we can delay the process and keep the bacteria from babies in the first two years of life, we can significantly reduce the risk of future cavities. We will post more on early prevention and infant dental care in the future.
At Making You Smile we are committed to cavity prevention and each of our patients is presented with a prevention plan that fits their particular needs. Call and book your appointment today. 1-646 484-0197