Dental cavities are the number one chronic oral health problem. The best way to prevent dental cavities is to practice good at-home oral hygiene, which includes brushing at least twice a day, flossing daily, and visiting your general dentist every six months for a dental cleaning and an exam. However, even if you do all the right things, there are still a few risk factors that can increase the likelihood that you’ll develop dental cavities.
Risk Factors For Dental Cavities
Below are a few risk factors that increase the chances that you’ll develop tooth decay and dental cavities:
- Genetics – Just like anything else, genetics will play a role in your oral health. Your genes may lead you to have a higher amount of harmful bacteria in your mouth, making it more likely that you’ll develop cavities.
- Tobacco Use – The use of tobacco such as smoking cigarettes and chewing tobacco lead to stained, yellow teeth and will also break down the tooth enamel. Once the enamel is weakened, the tooth becomes more susceptible to dental cavities.
- Alcohol or Drug Abuse – Alcohol can lead to dry mouth and tends to be acidic, which will wear down tooth enamel. Hard drugs, such as methamphetamines are notorious for causing rot and decay, which is where the term “meth mouth” comes from.
- Natural Aging Process – Lastly, the enamel on the teeth will begin to wear down with age. This makes it even more important that senior citizens are vigilant about taking their oral health care seriously. Aging also puts you at risk for gum recession and gingivitis.
If dental cavities and other oral health problems go untreated, you’re likely to develop gum disease. Once gum disease advances into periodontitis, you may even lose teeth. If you’re concerned about your gum health or if you have questions regarding dental implants, please don’t hesitate to call Littleton Implants & Periodontics, located here in Littleton, Colorado. We are Littleton’s premier cosmetic dentistry (periodontist) serving Greenwood village as well. Specializing in wisdom tooth extraction in Littleton, CO.