Article published by : Max Health on Thursday, February 21, 2013

Category : Dental

Causes of Cavities

Cavities are a common dental problem, but just what causes them? How can you avoid cavities? And how dangerous can they be if they are left untreated?

How Cavities Develop
Cavities are caused by tooth decay, which is the progressive destruction of your tooth enamel and dentin. The enamel is the hard, protective outer layer of the tooth, and the dentin is the interior layer.

Tooth decay occurs when remnants from foods and drinks that have significant fermentable carbohydrate content accumulate on your teeth. Fermentable carbohydrates are carbohydrates that are especially high in sugars and/or starches, and they are easily converted into harmful acids by naturally occurring bacteria in your mouth.

These acids combine with your saliva, bacteria and other lingering food particles to form plaque. As plaque coats your teeth, it begins to gradually erode your enamel, eventually dissolving through to the dentin and forming the holes known as cavities.

Avoiding Cavities
The most effective way to avoid cavities is to maintain a balanced diet and to practice a good dental hygiene routine that includes quality at-home dental care and twice-yearly visits to your general dentist.

Proper at-home dental care entails brushing your teeth at least twice every day with a soft-bristled toothbrush followed by flossing at least once every day. After brushing and flossing, you may rinse with an antiseptic, anticavity mouthwash to help flush remaining food particles and kill additional bacteria.

It is also important to undergo a check-up and receive a professional teeth cleaning at least once every six months. These check-ups allow your dentist to provide you with a thorough exam and treat any cavities at their earliest stages as well as provide your teeth with a deep cleaning to remove plaque that regular brushing alone cannot eliminate.

Risks of Cavities
Your oral health directly impacts your systemic health.

If not treated, cavities will worsen and eventually destroy the entire affected tooth. This can necessitate the removal of the tooth and lead to other dental health problems such as teeth alignment issues and periodontal disease.

In turn, the oral health problems caused by teeth with untreated cavities can affect your overall health. A number of dental problems have been linked to severe medical conditions including heart disease and diabetes when they are not treated in a timely fashion.

If you would like to learn more about cavity prevention and treatment, please visit the website of Sacramento cosmetic dentist Dr. David B. Miller at Advanced Dental Concepts at


By: Max Health

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