Cavities are a common problem for people of all ages and backgrounds. According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, over 90% of adults have had at least one cavity, and over 20% of adults between the ages of 20 and 64 have untreated cavities.
Poor diet and oral hygiene are two of the biggest factors that fuel cavities, but there are others that you might not be aware of. That’s why our dentists Dr. Elizabeth Abrams, Dr. Michael Abrams, and our dental team at Manhasset Dental Arts have put together this guide.
In addition to offering a range of preventive, general, and cosmetic dentistry services at our office in Manhasset, New York, we put patient education first. Here’s what you need to know about what causes cavities, and what you can do to protect your teeth and gums.
5 common factors that fuel cavities
Most people know that brushing after meals, flossing once a day, and maintaining a healthy diet are staples of good oral health. However, there are other factors that can contribute to tooth decay and other oral health problems like gum disease, especially as we get older.
Here are five of the most common cavity-causing factors to consider:
Skipping routine dentist appointments
Even if you’re meticulous about brushing and flossing, regular dental checkups and cleanings are a critical factor in maintaining healthy teeth and gums, and catching problems like cavities and gingivitis (the first stage of gum disease) before they can do serious damage to your oral health.
If it’s been more than six months since your last routine dental checkup, schedule an appointment to get yourself back on track!
Not drinking enough water
Dehydration is a lesser-known but equally important culprit in tooth decay. When you don’t drink enough water and get dehydrated, your salivary glands produce less saliva. As a result, cavity-causing bacteria have nowhere to go, increasing your risk of developing cavities.
Smoking or using tobacco products
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), people who smoke or use tobacco products have higher rates of untreated tooth decay and other oral health problems. Smoking can also increase your risk of oral cancer and even make dental problems harder to treat because your gums may not heal as quickly or efficiently as a non-smoker.
Underlying health problems
Our oral and overall health are linked, and certain diseases and medical conditions can affect your dental health.
Some of the health issues that can also affect your teeth and gum health include:
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
Let us know if you have health issues or are taking medication before treatment and our dentists will design an oral health care plan to fit your needs.
The placement and positioning of your teeth
When teeth overlap or are closely packed together, it can make it harder to brush and floss, making it easier for bacteria to accumulate and form cavities.
For more information on how to protect yourself from common oral health problems like cavities and gum disease, contact us today to schedule an appointment with one of our dentists in our office in Manhasset, New York.