Most of us blame sugar for our cavities, but this isn’t right. The real reasons behind our cavities are the bacteria that eat carbs, including sugar. Then they release acids that could melt our tooth enamel. This leads to weakened tooth and erosion.
Certain behaviors can increase dental decay risk, including some that will surprise you. Here they are:
Smooching with your significant other may convey your love for that person, but at the same time, it can also transmit bacteria, most especially streptococcus mutans. When such bacteria start releasing acids, your risk of developing cavities increases – and vice versa.
But there are ways to help prevent such problem. The first and most important step is that you and your partner should practice good oral hygiene. This means brush twice a day, floss daily, and clean your tongue’s surface.
2. Vigorous Brushing
Brushing is the key to ensure your mouth is healthy. However, you shouldn’t practice forceful brushing as this can actually cause problems. The biggest issue with vigorous brushing is that this leads to receding gums, which then exposes the roots of the teeth or at least a part of the roots. These roots are protected by cementum and though it covers the roots of the teeth, it is much softer than the tooth enamel. This means that when those roots are exposed, they become vulnerable to tooth decay. Plus, they are more painful than regular cavities.
Older people have this problem more than younger ones. To stop yourself from habitually brushing with force, use a softer brush. As much as possible, be gentle when cleaning your teeth.
3. Taking Some Drugs
There are some drugs that can cause the mouth to go dry. Saliva is the mouth’s natural defense against cavities. It’s the job of the saliva to neutralize the acids coming from the bacteria and it get rids of food particles from the teeth.
Unfortunately, there are over 400 medications that can lower the production of saliva. As a result, we have a dry mouth that is prone to cavities.
Some of the drugs that can dry up the mouth include those used to treat depression, diarrhea, urinary incontinence, and high blood pressure. Chemotherapy medication, decongestants, and antihistamines also cause the mouth to go dry.
To reduce the problem, chew gum that doesn’t contain sugar, but has xylitol as this can help stimulate the flow of saliva.
Since most of us know that sugar can lead to cavities, one of the best solutions is to simply drink water instead of sugary drinks. Also, it helps if you stop smoking as this doesn’t just reduce the production of saliva, but also causes other health effects.