Learn how to fight cavities with the right treatment from the experts at Dr. Dina Pediatric Dentistry Clinic
20 November 2018| Last updated on 22 November 2018
Why do we get cavities?
Every time we eat, our saliva turns acidic since normal bacteria present in the oral cavity secretes acid to break down food, so the first step of digestion starts in the mouth. Then we can swallow the softened bite.
Our saliva contains calcium and phosphate(minerals) to ensure the acid produced by the bacteria in the saliva doesn’t literally dissolve the tooth structure (this is what we call cavities-carious lesions).
When will we develop a cavity?
We develop a cavity when the minerals in the saliva can’t counter act the volume of the acid produced. We get more acid production in the saliva when the food we eat contains refined sugars (sucrose and glucose and lactose).
The bacteria count increases since the bacteria grow on the refined sugar (like agar plate used to grow bacteria in the science lab). More bacteria thrive in the oral cavity, so more acid is produced.
How can we fight it back?
Reducing the amount of sugar intake in addition to clearing it by brushing right after will ensure that the bacteria can’t grow (can’t produce more acid) and the saliva is enriched by minerals from the tooth paste (calcium, phosphate and fluorides). The same concept applies to babies and toddler who bottle feed at bedtime.
Repetitive exposure of the saliva to minute amount of tooth pastes will ensure, on long term, and the reduction of the number of harmful bacteria in the saliva (streptocoques mutans and lactobacillis) and the enrichment of the saliva by the minerals from the toothpaste.
We can also help this process by the usage of a calcifying cream (for all ages) and fluoridated mouthwash (for older children).
The amount of toothpaste used must be very little (grain of rice). It is the frequency of exposure to toothpaste that we make a difference, since every time we eat, our saliva turns acidic and this is what we need to reverse by stabilizing the flora in our saliva.