Surprising Facts About Cavities

  1. A cavity is a bacterial infection

cavitiesA cavity is a hole in your tooth. That hole forms because of bacteria in your mouth, which everyone has. When certain sugars enter the mouth they are broken down and turned to acid. The acid then starts to dissolve and soften the enamel. Once the enamel is soft, more bacteria can enter these spots and take residence. They continue to dissolve the tooth which leads to a cavity.

  1. Avoiding cavities is about timing

Because we can’t eliminate all sugars from our diet (even healthy whole grains and fruits are broken down into sugars), there are things that we can do to lessen the effect of the sugars.

Once food enters the mouth, it immediately begins to be broken down into simple sugar which give the bacteria energy and create acid. This whole process will take about 30 minutes. So it is better to sit down and eat a whole bag of Skittles at once than to eat it over time.

  1. Sugar is not always the enemy

Certain sugars can actually help prevent cavities. Xylitol, found in mint and gum, is a sugar that prevents bacteria from breaking down sugar into acid. It can even kill the cavity causing bacteria.

  1. There are ways of fixing cavities that don’t involve the drill

You have probably experienced a filling of a cavity. The dentist drills the infection out and then fills it in with some type of filling. If the cavity is found soon enough, this is not necessary. The dentist will encourage you to use fluoride (found in most toothpaste and mouthwash and even tap water in some areas). Fluoride is a natural way to strengthen enamel and can reverse the cavity.

Be sure to visit the dentist often so that a cavity can be found early on.

  1. Having cavities is the most prevalent chronic disease of childhood

This is the most shocking fact about cavities. Even though they are preventable, they remain to be the most common chronic disease of children 6 to 19 years according to the CDC. Many families don’t bring their children to the dentist because of the cost, but the amount spent in preventative care is much less than the amount of money spent on dental emergencies.

5 Things You Didn’t Know About Cavities|Walton Orthodontics