Can I Actually Prevent Cavities?

April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month, PInehurst, NCThe only complaint more common than the common cold is cavities. In the United States alone, 91 percent of people have suffered from dental cavities, and over half of people have some form of gum disease. Monroe & Monroe Implant & General Dentistry in Pinehurst has some advice about what cavities are and how to prevent them.

As we lose the baby teeth, the adult teeth start to come in to take their permanent positions. Once they’re set, those are all the teeth we get for our entire lives, so it’s important to take care of them. Regular brushing and regular dental cleanings are the easiest ways to prevent cavities, but sometimes even all that prevention doesn’t stop a stubborn cavity.

Whether we like it or not, our mouths are always full of bacteria. These bacteria feed on food residue on our teeth, and over time they concentrate and form plaque. Plaque can also develop overnight, even when we haven’t eaten anything, because a closed mouth is an ideal breeding ground. This is why your dentist always recommends brushing your teeth twice a day!

Unfortunately, bacteria are persistent, and even in the most diligent tooth-brusher’s mouth, they settle in hard-to-brush places in the back of the mouth and the small spaces between teeth. If left unchecked, bacteria wear down enamel and create holes in the teeth called cavities.

Cavities expose the sensitive tissues and nerves in the teeth and in the gums, and this can cause increased sensitivity or pain when eating and drinking. Treatment for cavities is usually a simple filling to stop the process of decay. Fillings can be a variety of materials: some are gold, zinc, porcelain, or a combination of several metals. If you do indeed have a cavity, Drs. Monroe will consult with you individually to come up with the best solution for your situation.

In addition to regular brushing, flossing, and dental cleanings in our office, make sure you stay well-hydrated and maintain a healthy diet. A dry mouth accelerates enamel decay, so drinking plenty of water will help keep cavities at bay.

Schedule an appointment online or call 910.420.3670 to keep your smile healthy and bright today!

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