Posted on 2/15/2020 by Dr. Nick Raptou
|Cavities or dental caries are a common medical condition world over. Teens and older adults are the most at risk for dental cavities. The truth, however, is that having teeth is the first risk factor to having tooth decay.
Chronic cavities however, are described as cavities that occur in more than one tooth or repeatedly on the same tooth more than twice in a calendar year. While there are many causes of cavities, people with the following conditions are at highest risk of chronic cavities
Individuals with GERD
GERD, also known as gastrointestinal reflux disease, is a condition characterized by reflux of acid from the stomach into the esophagus and sometimes into the mouth. It presents with heartburn. People with GERD tend to have acid washed up into their mouth, this weakens the enamel, allowing for bacteria to seed into the tooth. When this occurs repeatedly over time, chronic cavities occur.
Eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa and bulimia also predispose to cavities. This is because the frequent purging causes acidity in the mouth. There is also introduction of food particles which may multiply, causing bacterial invasion and subsequent cavities
Nicotine in tobacco causes discoloration of teeth. Nicotine also causes weakening of the enamel which leads to tooth damage. When the enamel is damaged, it provides a niche for food particles to hide. This then causes bacterial multiplication and eventual cavity. This explains why chronic smokers battle tooth decay.
Extremes of age also play a big role in dental cavities. Younger children are more likely not to be diligent about brushing their teeth leading to caries. There is also the communicable risk where shared utensils between children and adults may spread the dental caries. Older adults have a lowered immunity and are susceptible to a large number of infections among their cavities. Individuals who possess the following risk factors should take adequate care to always brush their teeth, floss regularly, and to visit our dentists religiously.