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What exactly is cavity? How can cavities happen? (Risk factors) – Part 2

• Cavities are permanently damaged areas inside the teeth that developed into tiny openings or holes.
• Cavities are also called caries.
• This can lead to many problems like injury to gum disease.
• Depending on the depth and damage done by the cavity, the pain depends.

What are risk factors involved?

5. Not getting enough fluoride
• Fluoride is often a naturally sourced mineral that enables to avoid cavities.
• It might even reverse the earliest stages of tooth damage by helping teeth repair themselves.
• Due to the benefits of fluoride for teeth, fluoride is now added to many public water supplies.
• It is also a standard ingredient in toothpaste and mouth rinses.
• If you drink bottled or filtered water which doesn’t contain fluoride, you could overlook its protective benefits.
• In contrast, some bottled water could have added fluoride.
• If your normal water and tooth maintenance systems also contain fluoride, it is possible that babies and kids may get a lot of it.
• Consult your dentist about the total amount of fluoride you might be getting from a local water supply and other sources.

6. Younger or older age
• Cavities are considered the most commonly encountered chronic disease among children and teenagers.
• Older adults can also be at chances of teeth and gum loss.
• It is important to keep our teeth neat and clean as we grow older.
• With time, teeth can wear down and gums may recede.
• This makes teeth weaker to root decay.
• Tooth roots are naturally engrossed in a coating called cementum.
• Cementum is quickly lost when the root surface is exposed.
• The main dentin is softer than enamel and more prone to decay.
• Older adults can also use more medications which can reduce saliva flow, increasing the risk of cavity.

7. Dry mouth
• Xerostomia is caused by deficit of saliva.
• It supports preventing of tooth decay.
• This is done by washing away food and plaque from the teeth.
• Substances found in saliva also help counter the acid manufactured by decay-producing bacteria.
• This also may help repair early cavities.

8. Worn fillings or dental devices
• Over the years, dental fillings can weaken.
• This leads to commencing of breakdown or develop rough edges.
• These developments allow plaque to formulate quicker.
• It is formed such that it is harder to take out.
• Fillings and dental devices could also leak or stop fitting well.
• This also allows decay to start underneath them.

9. Eating disorders
• Anorexia and bulimia can result in significant tooth erosion and cavities.
• Gastric acid from repeated purging washes on the teeth.
• This begins dissolving the enamel.
• Also, people having eating disorders usually have soda or other acidic drinks very frequently.
• This leads to development of a continual acid bath on the teeth.
• Eating disorders can also obstruct saliva production.

10. Heartburn
• Esophageal reflux disease which is also termed GERD or heartburn could potentially cause gastric acid to flow into your mouth.
• This wears out the enamel of the teeth.
• If the loss of enamel is not due to grinding teeth as observed by your dentist, the next culprit could be the gastric reflux acid.
• Untreated reflux could potentially cause significant tooth damage.
• It might be very expensive to correct the loss.

11. Certain cancer treatments
• Having radiation for your head or neck can grow your risk of cavities by reducing saliva production.
• This prevents cavity-producing bacteria from being washed away.
• Certain chemotherapy drugs also tend to cause dry mouth.

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