Are you spending more trips to the dentist recently? Are you brushing and flossing morning and night but still winding up with cavities? If you’re having these experiences, it’s undoubtedly extremely frustrating.
Regardless of how you get them, cavities are a nuisance and the negative effects of poor dental health are enough to get you reaching out for new solutions to help improve the quality of your oral health. Here are five reasons that could explain why you keep getting cavities, despite taking good care of your teeth:
1. Water Quality
Although it is overlooked by many people, poor water quality can have a direct impact on the health of your teeth. In fact, every type of water can affect your teeth in different ways. Water is extremely vital to the health of your teeth, because it can flush out food particles and bacteria in between brushes. Water also increases saliva production, which can help reduce the growth of bacteria in your mouth. However, the type of water you consume might have different effects on your oral health.
When considering the effects of poor dental health, you need to do whatever you can to help reduce the number of cavities in your teeth. What some people may not realize is that when they filter their tap water, they could be taking out vital fluoride and other important compounds. A huge number of Americans across the country use filters, whether it’s directly on their tap or through their fridge.
Fluoride is an incredibly important compound put into Americans’ water that helps strengthen their teeth. Without it, many people’s teeth can develop to be weaker and more susceptible to cavities. At a dental clinic, they often use fluoride treatments to help improve the strength of your teeth, but it’s not as effective as drinking fluoride in your water. Therefore, if you use a water filter, you should do some research to see if it allows fluoride to come through.
Some Americans are paranoid about the cleanliness of their tap water. While poor water quality can sometimes produce dirty water coming from your tap, it typically isn’t something to worry about. If you suspect to find contaminants in your water, you should immediately contact a technician to inspect your plumbing. If you are worried about the effects of poor dental health, however, your best bet is to drink tap water. The majority of American cities have perfectly clean, safe tap water that has fluoride added to help improve the health of your teeth.
Although many people believe that distilled water is the most pure, clean water, it doesn’t necessarily do anything positive for your teeth. Distilled water has been purified by reverse osmosis, and it is completely free of vitamins and minerals that help support healthy teeth and bones. If you choose to drink distilled water, then it would be optimal for your dental care to add fluoride into the water yourself or ensure you are getting it from other sources, such as in an oral vitamin or by eating foods rich in fluoride.
2. Acid Reflux and GERD
You may not have heard that if you suffer from acid reflux, or GERD, it can actually have negative effects on your oral health. Acid reflux is caused when the esophageal sphincter fails to close and allows stomach acid to flow from your stomach into your throat and mouth. It can be caused by a variety of things, including dietary habits, stress, genetics, and obesity. Unfortunately, acid reflux is known to be very damaging to the health of your teeth and may be one of the contributors to cavities.
Stomach acid can be extremely damaging to your teeth. This is because the acid can erode away the enamel on your teeth, particularly your back molars. It is said that in general dentistry, sometimes a dentist can tell you have GERD before you do. This is because during their dental examination, they can sometimes tell by the erosion of your back molars that you have been experiencing acid reflux. GERD can also cause damage and irritation to your esophageal lining, putting your at greater risk for esophageal cancer.
If you believe you suffer from acid reflux or GERD, it is best to seek immediate care from your doctor. Acid reflux can sometimes be a symptom of another condition, such as pregnancy or complications from obesity. Therefore, it is important to discuss your symptoms with your doctor. However, if you are looking for ways to improve your dental health by reducing acid reflux, there are some things that may help.
To reduce acid reflux, you can eat smaller meals earlier in the day rather than eating at night. You can also try sleeping in an upright position if you experience more acid reflux at night. Certain acidic foods can make you more susceptible to acid reflux, so cutting them out of your diet may also help. Also, quitting smoking and drinking less alcohol helps reduce acid reflux symptoms.
3. Dry Mouth
Dry mouth, otherwise known as xerostomia, is when there is a reduction of saliva production in your mouth. If you’re wondering about the effects of poor dental health, addressing potential dry mouth is a necessity. Dry mouth can be caused by a number of things, such as dehydration, cigarette smoking, alcohol, drugs, and extreme exercise.
In addition, certain medications can cause dry mouth such as antihistamines or cancer medications. Also, anxiety and diabetes has been known to cause dry mouth. If you’re experiencing unexplained dry mouth, you should seek treatment from your primary care doctor or urgent care. Unfortunately, another side effect of dry mouth is that it can cause cavities.
Saliva helps wash out food particles and prevents them from settling in the crevices of your teeth. Saliva also contains antibodies to help fight infection in your teeth and gums, thus preventing tooth decay. If you don’t have enough saliva in your mouth, it provides a breeding ground for bacteria to develop and embed into your teeth.
This can cause an increase in cavities and other oral damage, such as gum disease, tooth loss, and problems with taste. Saliva is a vital part of keeping your mouth healthy, so it is important that you inform a doctor if there are any changes in the amount of saliva that is present in your mouth.
4. Tooth Shape
Sometimes, there is little you can do about cavity formation on teeth. This is because teeth can sometimes be shaped to be more prone to develop cavities. Some people have deep crevices and pits in their teeth that are perfect breeding grounds for bacteria to grow. Even if you are brushing and flossing your teeth, sometimes you are unable to clean deep in the crevices of your teeth.
Teeth shaped in this way can simply be caused by genetics and there is nothing you can do to prevent this tooth shape. When thinking about the effects of poor dental health, consult with your dentist to see if you have a tooth shape that makes you more susceptible to cavities.
If you have a tooth shape with deep pits and valleys, consider getting a sealant to seal off the area that could be affected. A sealant is a layer of plastic that covers certain areas of the tooth and protects it from bacteria. Before you ask for a sealant, however, you may have to consider insurance options.
Some insurance policies do not cover the cost of sealants because it is a form of elective care rather than a necessary procedure. It is possible to ask your insurance policies if they will accept a note from your dentist explaining your need for this preventative care. If you are thinking about the effects of poor dental health sometimes preventative care is extremely necessary.
Sometimes, people are also born with a naturally weaker enamel than others. A weak enamel can have incredibly bad effects on oral health, as teeth will be more susceptible to cracks that can be invaded with bacteria. When looking into the effects of poor dental health, enamel is often heavily involved in the conversation because it is the first layer of defense against cavities.
Weak enamel can sometimes be caused by genetics, although there are many things that can further weaken it. If you have naturally weak enamel, make sure to stay away from a lot of acidic foods that will break the enamel down more.
Sometimes, taking care of your dental health can be as preventative as even monitoring the type of food you eat. Although many people are aware that sugary foods are bad for your oral health, there may be many other foods that they do not know can have a negative impact. If you are researching about the effects of poor dental health, you must educate yourself on the diet habits that can help you avoid cavities!
One food group that can have a negative impact on your oral health are starches and carbohydrates. The monomer of a carbohydrate is actually a monosaccharide, a simple sugar. Therefore, when a carbohydrate is broken down through chewing and is mixed with your saliva, it becomes a sticky, sugary substance.
This sugary film can fit deep into the crevices of your teeth and can be difficult to remove. Certain carbs like breads and pastas can, in fact, cause even more damage to your teeth than candy! If you have been eating a lot of carbs recently and can’t determine why you’re getting so many cavities, it just might be the carbs. You can help prevent them from causing damage by brushing your teeth after you eat a carb-heavy meal, or if you don’t have access to a toothbrush, rinsing your mouth out with water thoroughly.
Another negative food for your dental health can actually be fruit. Certain fruits can cause cavities for a couple of different reasons. If you are consuming a lot of fruit juice, they often contain added sugars that can cause damage and cavities to your teeth.
Certain acidic fruits, such as oranges and lemons, can also be very negative to your teeth. The acid in these fruits can wear away at your enamel significantly and allow your teeth to be more susceptible to cavity formation. If you eat a lot of acidic foods, consider cutting down to help your tooth enamel receive less damage. In addition, you can also prevent damage by not keeping acidic foods in your mouth for very long and brushing your teeth or rinsing with water after you eat them.
It is incredibly important to monitor your dental health because the effects of poor dental health can be huge on the rest of your body. Leaving cavities untreated will cause them to grow bigger and eventually impact the nerves in your mouth and create cracks and fractures in your teeth. Ultimately, this can lead to tooth loss. Tooth abscesses can also form, which is an infected buildup of pus in the center of the tooth. Untreated abscesses can lead to life-threatening conditions due to the spread of infection throughout the body.
Tooth loss can have very detrimental effects on your mental and physical health. People who have lost teeth often have significant problems with self esteem and anxiety. In addition, people who have tooth loss can have problems maintaining a healthy diet, as some foods must be cut out to avoid damage to the gums.
Still, an astounding number of people do not consider dental health to be important. In the United States, 31.6% of adults have untreated cavities between the ages of 20 and 44, which is a shocking percentage considering the negative impact poor dental health can have on your life. The effects of poor dental health are simply far too significant to avoid taking good care of your teeth!