January 21, 2017
There may be plenty of reasons to stay away from that delicious donut other than cavities, but enduring a toothache is one problem that is hard to ignore. Our first thought is to blame sugar itself as the villain, but as it turns out, the sweet stuff has some partners in crime. That is why your dentist in Slidell wants you to be aware of the bigger picture going on in your mouth, and what you can do to stay ahead of the game.
The Real Story Behind Cavities
It is not fair to blame it all on the bacteria in your mouth, but really, it does have a lot to do with it. The truth is that your mouth contains dozens of different bacteria, many of which are quite harmless to us. However, there are a certain few bacteria that are extremely attracted to sugar, and when they feed on the sugar in your mouth, it creates acid. The shiny, protective layer on your teeth referred to as enamel is no match for these acids that eat away at it and create holes. If these areas are left untreated, the decay can seep into deeper layers of the tooth and cause pain and may even require an extraction.
There Is A War In Your Mouth
The primary marching order for the acid in your mouth is to leech minerals from the enamel in a process called demineralization. Fortunately, your mouth does have its own defenses in this battle and it shows up in the form of saliva. The saliva in your mouth contains minerals such as calcium and phosphates, which in turn helps to repair the damage that was created by the acid. However, the fight between leeching minerals and replacing them can only go so far. An excellent way of preventing cavities is to limit the amount of sugar in your diet, which will halt the hungry bacteria from creating too much acid that becomes harmful to your teeth.
Ways To Fight Back
Cutting back your sugar intake is highly beneficial in preventing cavities, but there is more you can do to heighten the remineralization process. Eating a healthy diet rich in foods that are high in calcium, such as cheese and yogurt, will also help to strengthen your teeth. An additional way to boost the mineral content in your mouth involves increasing saliva production. Chewing sugarless gum and eating fibrous fruits and vegetables can both bring more protection. Another very relaxing way to fight back on acid production is to have a cup or two of green or black tea, which contain substances that can suppress harmful bacteria. Lastly, one of the best ways to help prevent tooth decay is to drink plenty of water with fluoride and to brush regularly with an ADA-approved fluoride toothpaste. You may also want to consider having your dentist provide a fluoride treatment.
Arming yourself with knowledge and the right tools to fight tooth decay is your best defense. Where do you go to get brilliant oral care and regular checkups? A dentist near me! Dr. Britney Beard is proud to partner with you to meet all your dentistry needs and to answer any questions you may have on your road to keeping a perfect smile.
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