Why Cavities Can Happen Even To Great Brushers

Family Dentistry Des Moines IA

It’s a complaint Dr. Chris McDonald hears over and over: “I brush my teeth religiously and never skip a day. So why am I still getting cavities?”

Cavities happen when the natural layer of bacteria covering the teeth feeds off of particles from the food you consume. The bacteria form a sticky, invisible film called plaque. Acids in plaque eat away at the hard outer layer of tooth structure called enamel, creating tiny holes and openings that we know as cavities.

Although toothbrushing is critical to removing food particles from your mouth, it does not always prevent cavities. As frustrating as it is, you may be a great brusher yet still get the occasional cavity. Here, Dr. McDonald offers some possible explanations for this discouraging dilemma.

Lack of Flossing

Tooth brushing is only one component of good oral hygiene. Flossing is very important to removing food particles from between the teeth. A toothbrush alone cannot reach some of the tiny nooks and crannies of the mouth.

Dry Mouth

Saliva helps to remove food particles and plaque from the mouth. If you experience persistent dry mouth, due to advancing age, mouth breathing, taking certain medications, smoking or other factors, unfortunately you are more prone to developing cavities.

Molars and Premolars

With all of their tiny pits and grooves, the molars and premolars are notoriously difficult to keep clean. You could be an excellent tooth brusher but still develop cavities in your molars or premolars.

Genetic Predisposition

Some people are susceptible to cavities due simply to genetics.

Constant Snacking or Sipping Sugary Beverages

Constantly snacking or sipping sugary beverages such as sodas continually introduces sugars into your mouth, increasing the likelihood of cavities.

Acid Reflux

With gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), acid travels from the stomach up the throat and into the mouth. This acid diminishes the protective coating of the teeth, opening the door to cavities.

Skipping Professional Cleanings and Exams

At-home care is important, but professional cleanings target the areas of the mouth that a toothbrush and floss can’t reach. Exams detect tooth decay in its earliest stages, when it can be corrected before it turns into a full-blown cavity. Skipping professional teeth cleanings and exams increases the risks of getting a cavity.

To schedule your next teeth cleaning and dental exam with Dr. McDonald and our team, please contact our office today. If we discover a cavity during your appointment, we can remove the decay and fill the space with a beautiful white filling. No one will be able to tell there was a cavity!

Posted Under: Cavities, Fillings, General Dentistry, Oral Health