I brush and floss, but I still get cavities, why?
It's frustrating when you reliably brush and floss, but still get tooth decay. There are many factors that influence if decay will be present at each checkup.
Streptococcus mutans, often referred to as strep mutans, is a bacterium, usually transferred from parent to child at an early age. Strep mutans secrete acid onto your teeth causing decay. A diet high in sugars, starches and many artificial sweeteners are what strep mutans thrive on. Switching to a healthier diet, heavy with leafy greens and changing your sweeteners to xylitol based, can have a profound effect. Xylitol interrupts the acid production of bacteria. Xylitol gum or mints (containing no other sweeteners) for five minutes, five times a day, can have a profound effect on the ravages of bacteria. A bonus to xylitol is it's also good for preventing dry mouth, another factor common to tooth decay, which frequently occurs as we age or when we take certain medications.
High acid foods are also hard on the teeth. Our tooth enamel is like a protective barrier for tooth strength and high acid foods erode it. Pop and juice are the worst; especially if you drink them over a long period of time, bathing the teeth in acids.
Regular cleanings are so important for removing the biofilm that microorganisms leave behind, especially below the gum line. Talk with your dental hygienist and dentist on preventative measures you can take to stop tooth decay!
Lake Grove Dental
16455 Boones Ferry Rd.
Lake Oswego, OR 97035