If you’ve always had “a clean bill of oral health” during each visit to our Sacramento dentist, you may be surprised by an increase in cavities. What would cause this to happen “all of a sudden”? Is it mouth rebellion, bacterial uprising, or a gum disease conspiracy?
It’s unfortunately not all that uncommon for people to see cavities crop up seemingly “out of the blue.” When this happens, it’s a good idea to stop and think about the causes and contributing factors as to why. Often, the increase in tooth decay can be explained by changes in your daily routine.
What is Different?
If you have experienced a major change to your typical regimen, such as a new job, new school or new baby, it’s possible that your daily oral care has moved to the back burner. Always focus on brushing at least twice a day and flossing daily. Make time in a busier schedule to still keep appointments with the Sacramento Dentistry Group.
Has the amount of sugar you consume changed at all? While the amount of sugar you eat is a consideration, of even greater impact is how long your teeth are exposed to sugar before being cleaned. Sipping soda or sweet tea all day and grazing between meals isn’t good for teeth, especially if you’re eating from a bag of candy. Even cough drops can contain large amounts of sugar, just like hard candies. If you’ve been drinking more sugar and eating more sweets, this is a likely source of cavities.
Excess stress also affects your whole body and increases inflammation. Eating healthy foods and drinking plenty of water, instead of finding “comfort foods” and fancy coffee drinks, not only contributes to a healthy mouth, but also helps your body regulate stress and keep cavities in check.
Even some things that are “good for you” can contribute to enamel erosion. Consider orange juice and other acidic drinks, like lemon water. While these beverages may have health benefits, they also wear away enamel! Does this mean that you should always brush your teeth after drinking such things or eating a sugary meal?
Not always! Right after an acidic drink or meal, brushing your teeth will erode the teeth further as you spread around the acid. First rinse your mouth by drinking and swishing a glass of water, or wait twenty to thirty minutes after your last swallow of acidic food or drink. Brushing harder also doesn’t help. Brush gently for best results and optimum cavity prevention. Your gums are also better off with soft bristles and gentle brushing, as otherwise they become irritated or recede.
If you are concerned about your oral health because of a major life change, contact us for an appointment to maintain a healthy mouth. Pay attention to changes in your eating habits, and combat decay with regular oral hygiene. The Sacramento Dentistry Group is here to help you avoid cavities and keep your mouth pain free!