Dental Blog

Why Some People Are More Prone to Cavities Than Others

Why Some People Are More Prone to Cavities Than OthersA cavity starts with the buildup of bacteria and plaque that causes damage to the surface layer of one or more teeth. This damage assumes the form of a small hole in the tooth that, if left untreated, spreads much deeper into the tooth, resulting in cavities.

Are you more likely to get cavities?

Anyone with teeth can get cavities, and most people have multiple cases of dental caries at different times in their lives. Researchers claim that senior citizens have higher chances of getting cavities, probably because of their medications that cause dry mouth. The risk for dental caries among children and adults, on the other hand, is not as bad, probably due to the emphasis on the importance of using fluoride toothpastes from an early age, as well as the fluoridation of public water.

That said, a recent report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) claims that the prevalence of dental caries among different ethnic groups varies. For instance, African-Americans have the highest incidence of tooth decay at 46 percent, followed by Hispanics at 36 percent, and Caucasians at 22 percent. The prevalence rate for Asians is 17 percent.

According to researchers, there are three key factors that contribute to one’s oral health: behavior, social conditions, and biology.

Biology

In regard to biology, researchers argue that some people are born with genes that give them superior dental health, like bacteria-fighting saliva, extra-hard tooth enamel (greater ability to re-mineralize), and a robust immune system. The American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) also agrees that certain clusters of the population are more susceptible to oral diseases due to their genes.

For instance, one study revealed that a small proportion of African Americans lack a certain variant form of salivary protein that helps to ward off cavity-causing bacteria.

Social Conditions

The American Dental Association (ADA) claims that lower socioeconomic groups are more likely to have higher levels of untreated cavities, due to their limited access to health care. In many states, Medicaid coverage does not include dental benefits, and in others, it only caters for emergency care. Disadvantaged households may also not have access to education about proper dental care.

Additionally, even those patients with decent coverage may not have access to transportation to reach the dentist’s office.

Lifestyle

Researchers have found that smoking significantly increases the risk of gum disease and tooth loss, while consume foods/drinks high in sugar create the ideal breeding ground for decay-causing bacteria.

Ideally, stellar dental care can help anyone overcome a less-than-ideal genetic disposition, though some oral hygiene devotees may suffer from persistent cavities, while others who barely do the minimum maintain a perfect smile. Indeed, people who are better able to absorb calcium and fluoride, while doing the bare minimum, are less likely to suffer from decay, compared to the diligent ones who consume too much acidic and sweet things, clench/grind their teeth, or drink non-fluoridated water.

Still, regular dental check-ups at your Lancaster dentist should help you detect any concerns early before they become serious and costly issues.

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Worst Foods You Could Possibly Eat for Your Teeth

worst foods for your teethBefore we dive in to the worst foods you could possibly eat for your teeth (and overall health in general), we want to preface this article by saying we will only list foods here, not drinks. Stay tuned for an article dedicated to the worst drinks you could possibly eat for your teeth. Without further ado…

Top 3 Absolute Worst Foods We Could Possibly Eat

1. Chewing Ice

Ice is simply just water and water isn’t harmless, right? Because it doesn’t contain additives or sugar? Well, it’s only harmless until you chip off the front of your tooth because you weren’t careful gnawing on that piece of ice that was left in your glass as you finished the glass. May people fall victim to mindlessly chewing on ice, only to have an accident occur. Be careful of ice & make a habit to either suck on it or let it fully dissolve into water.

2. Sticky Candy

We’re still trying to name at least one benefit that sticky candy offers other than satisfying our sweet tooth. So far, we cannot think of any real benefits. Sticky candy is horrible for your oral health because not only is it made purely from sugar, which bacteria in our mouth love, but it also sticks to our teeth and becomes a gold mine for these bacteria! If you eat any sticky candies absolutely be sure to brush & floss your teeth the same day at least once. Our vote for absolute worst goes to caramel.

Pro tip: replace with ADA approved chewing gum instead to satisfy your chewing desires.

3. Canned Fruit

Fruit by itself contains more than enough sugar than the bacteria in our mouth need. However, with canned fruits… manufacturers love to add even more sugar into in the can for a sweet, flavorful taste (and because it aids in the preservation process). Definitely make an effort to avoid canned fruit with added sugar at all costs. If you have to buy canned fruit, then purchase the ones that only contain their own juices.

Pro tip: stick to frozen fruits instead and use them in a blender or juicer to create a host of different combinations. The process is always fun, too!

Final Note

To put all of this into perspective, we’d like to say that dentists themselves would not even touch these 3 foods because they are fully aware of the dangers they pose to oral health. Most dentists, that is. Sometimes the urge to resist temptation is too strong. However, the key isn’t so much as to avoid these foods, but rather to consciously make an effort to limit them. This attitude combined with excellent oral hygiene habits at home will prevent you from a lifetime of oral trouble.

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Periodontal Disease & Gum Disease

What are some warning signs for Periodontal Disease and what are some causes?

Periodontal Disease & Gum DiseaseIt is possible to have gum disease/periodontal disease without knowing it. These are some warning signs for perio disease:

  • Bleeding Gums
  • Red colored (darker than usual), swollen, & sensitive gums
  • Gums pulling away from teeth
  • Constant bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth
  • loose or separating teeth
  • If your teeth fit together differently when you bite

Leading Cause for Tooth Loss Among Adults

One of the main causes of tooth loss for adults is Periodontal Disease. If you have red and sensitive gums the will bleed while brushing or flossing – you may have periodontal disease.

A prominent cause for gum disease is the increase of plaque, which is a colorless layer of bacteria surrounding your teeth and invading your surrounding teeth as well as, the bone which supports your tooth.

Gingivitis

Another important factor is Gingivitis, often a preliminary sign of gum disease. The discomfort level is minimal however the gums will bleed easily and swollen. If you neglect your oral hygiene and do not practice home care dental procedures as well as timely dental visits, you can suffer from gingivitis.

Gingivitis that goes untreated will transfer into the periodontitis phase. Dental patients that allow bacteria and plaque to spread under the gum line & charge tissues and supporting bones will experience the separation of gums from teeth which will lead to increased bacteria and plaque in pockets. Leaving this untreated can lead to gum disease due to destroyed tissue and bone.

Schedule a Periodontal Exam

If you think you may have periodontitis or periodontal disease you should see your dentist immediately for a periodontal exam.

Dr. Jeffrey H. Stein offers periodontal exams, call (661) 949-1894 to schedule one.

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Why It’s Time to Start Flossing

flossing tips 101From early in life, many people are taught to care for their teeth through proper brushing twice a day. As a result, brushing your teeth becomes a part of your daily routine that you cannot forego without much discomfort. However, the consequences of forgetting to floss are not as apparent. So it is not unusual for those who are hard-pressed for time to use dental floss occasionally rather than regularly.

Importance of Flossing

It is unfortunate that non-flossers don’t realize the critical role of flossing at least once a day for their oral health. Dental floss helps to remove biofilm and dental plaque from the surface of your teeth in tight spaces that toothbrush bristles cannot reach: between two teeth and between the base of your teeth and the gums.

The problem with antimicrobial mouth rinse is that while it kills the harmful bacteria in your mouth that form plaque, it does not remove the food debris and stubborn tartar that lodges in these tight spaces.

Studies show that proper dental care, which includes regular brushing and flossing, is important to maintain a healthy and bright smile. A healthy oral environment in turn helps to prevent a range of oral conditions, including bad breath, gum disease, and tooth decay, as well as the associated health issues that can be life threatening, such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancers.

How to Start Flossing – by Dr. Jeffrey Stein of Lancaster, CA

Flossing involves the use a dental floss – a thin, nylon or plastic thread – that you run between two adjacent teeth to remove food fragments and plaque from areas that a toothbrush typically misses. A good alternative for dental floss is dental tape, which is slightly thicker than thread.

On your next dental visit with Dr. Jeffrey Stein, ask him to give you some dental floss or tape and advise you on how to use it properly, how often you should floss, and other useful tips to improve your oral health. Lancaster dentist, Dr. Stein is more than willing to provide a demonstration of proper flossing.

If you choose to start flossing immediately, it is recommended that you use a manageable length of floss (about 18 inches or 45 cm). Pull the floss tightly as you insert it between two adjacent teeth and then scrape all accessible surfaces of each tooth, moving away from the gums to avoid injury.

Final Note

Flossing is obviously more tasking than brushing, which is why most people don’t do it. However, flossing everyday can help remove food debris stuck between your teeth and prevent plaque buildup, giving you an overall healthy mouth.

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Welcome to the Blog of Jeffrey H. Stein, DDS!

lancaster dentist

I wanted to personally thank you for visiting my blog here at Dr. Jeffrey Stein’s office located in Lancaster, CA.

Your Source for Dentistry in Lancaster, CA!

We encourage you to check-in with us from time to time for interesting articles that contain dental information you may not be aware of. This will also be our hub for posting any exciting event information, as well as sharing important updates and advances in the wonderful world of dentistry.

As a gentle, family dentist in Lancaster CA, nothing feels better than having my very own patients thank me for a job well done after providing them a unique, professional & quality-driven dental experience in my office. I make an effort to give every patient the time they deserve and to be seen on time. I wholly value building one-on-one relationships for a more personalized approach to your oral care needs & so that you are COMFORTABLE every step of the way.

Dr. Jeffrey Stein’s Lancaster dentistry office is a full service dentistry that offers gentle, family dentistry, pediatric dentistry for children, cosmetic dentistry, quality-made dental implant restorations, same-day crowns using CEREC, prosthodontics, periodontics, endodontics, teeth whitening & much more. We proudly serve residents from neighboring areas of Lancaster including Palmdale, Quartz Hill, Del Sur, Antelope Acres & surrounding areas.

View our complete list of services.

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