We all know that sweets are bad for your teeth. But you may not be aware of why your mom and dentist always told you to avoid them and how these foods cause dental erosion and eventually cavities. The Santa Monica family dentist explains:
How Cavities Form
Tooth enamel is made of minerals, and cavities are caused by a process known as demineralization. This occurs when the enamel on your tooth comes in contact with sweet foods and drinks. Waste products created by bacteria as it consumes these sugars contain the acids that cause demineralization. When these acids remain on the teeth they start producing tooth decay within minutes.
Most of us have experienced cavities but left untreated over a long period of time, a simple cavity can result in the complete destruction of the tooth structure. With the increased consumption of soda, fruit juices and energy drinks, dentists today see an increase in the number of patients with dental erosion. While sugar is the most common cause of dental erosion, some other causes are:
- Poor oral hygiene
- Consuming acidic foods and drinks
- Dry mouth or low saliva production
- Acid reflux disease (GERD), or heartburn.
Signs That a Cavity is Developing
If you experience sensitivity when eating hot, cold or sweet foods and drinks you may have dental erosion. Also, yellowing of the enamel indicates that it is thinning and exposing the yellow dentin beneath. Dental erosion can literally destroy your teeth over time if not addressed by your general dentist. If it reaches this point, tooth extraction and costly dental prosthetics may be necessary.
Please Call Us for a Dental Appointment
Diligent oral hygiene habits and regular visits to your general dentist are the best defense against the destruction caused by dental erosion. Your Santa Monica family dentist is trained to detect signs of dental erosion and take the necessary steps to arrest and reverse its damage.
Please call us to arrange an appointment so we can make sure your oral health is protected.