In order to really fight cavities, it helps to know what causes them. There was a time when candy and other sweets were blamed for causing tooth decay or cavities. Most patients believed that simply avoiding candy would also help them to avoid cavities.
Tooth decay happens when the teeth are exposed to an acidic environment.
Today, research has proven that there are other factors that can impact your dental health, even when you brush and floss daily. That’s why it is important to visit your dentist regularly for x-rays and information regarding your oral hygiene.
Tooth decay happens when the teeth are exposed to an acidic environment. In the case of candy-eating, the bacteria within the mouth have the ability to convert sugars into an acidic byproduct that can weaken and destroy the enamel. Unfortunately, acids from the foods that you eat and drink can also attack you enamel, leading to tooth decay and sensitivity.
Any foods or beverages that contain sugars or carbohydrates can increase the acidity of the saliva. In addition, soft drinks, fruit juices, tomato-based products, and sports drinks can be highly acidic. Patients who avoid sweets and observe a healthy diet should realize that even a “healthy” diet can damage the teeth. Frequent exposure to these foods and drinks can keep your teeth under constant attack, resulting in damage that is difficult to control with brushing and flossing alone.
Patients who suffer from acid reflux or GERD should also be aware of the increased levels of acids within the mouth. With reflux or frequent heartburn, gastric acids are introduced into the mouth, resulting in erosion and decay if left uncontrolled.
In a healthy mouth, the saliva acts as a natural buffer against acids. When the saliva production is low, as is the case with dry mouth, or when the acid attacks are too frequent to be neutralized, the resulting damage can be significant. Your dentist may recommend reducing the frequency of exposure to acidic foods and drinks, controlling heartburn, drinking more water, and even chewing certain sugarless gums can help to prevent damage.
To learn more about the impact an acidic diet can have on your oral health call the office of Drs. Scott Russ and Jeffrey Sender, serving Plainview and neighboring areas, today at 516-681-2525 to schedule an appointment.