While children and young adults are the most likely people to experience dental cavities or tooth decay, anyone can develop this oral health problem during any stage of his life. Cavities are caused by too much buildup of plaque in the mouth and can often be avoided by practicing good eating, brushing, and flossing habits.
Plaque begins to invade the mouth about 20 minutes after eating or drinking; plaque can either cause small pits or cavities in the teeth or gum disease. Both types of dental problems can lead to premature tooth loss. Cavities can often be treated if caught early. Fillings, crowns, and root canals are all potentially expensive and painful procedures but do not pose the emotional or physical health risks of tooth loss. A dentist will usually take X-rays to determine why a patient is suffering from tooth sensitivity.
Prevention is always preferred to treatment. One of the best ways for people of all ages to avoid developing any type of tooth or gum disease is to get professional teeth cleanings as least twice annually. Brushing the teeth carefully twice a day is the current standard of home oral health care. Unless otherwise advised, people should floss their teeth at least once daily. Mouthwash can also help prevent the buildup of plaque.
Chewy, sticky, and sugary foods and beverages should be limited. People who must partake in such treats should eat them during mealtimes rather than snacking on them at various points of the day. Otherwise, plaque will develop before the next scheduled time for brushing the teeth.
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