Know If You Are More Prone To Cavities Than Others

Cavity-Causing Reasons

Why are some people more prone to cavities than others? It is highly probable with those who have poor oral hygiene, or in some cases, an unhealthy lifestyle, such as smoking, contributes to the condition. But then, there are reasons that are out of your control. Let’s look at some of those cavity-causing conditions.

How Strong is Your Enamel?

Your enamel is weak and fragile. Poor quality enamel is a result of genetics. Cavities may be in your genes. There’s a gene that plays a key role in first-line immune response against invading germs. Genetics can also have an effect on the type of bacteria that lives in your mouth; certain types of bacteria can cause cavities more than others. Or the weakening of the enamel can come from wearing braces or from a high-sugar or high-carb diet. Daily habits such as sipping on sugary drinks can also lead to enamel erosion.

Daily Habits

You have a habit of nibbling on snacks throughout the day. You go for refined foods that are acidic, sugary and less satiating, your saliva production cannot keep up with it. What you eat all day tend to sit on your teeth for longer periods.

You have the habit of brushing your teeth right after eating. This can actually do more harm than good. The acids present on teeth causes the enamel to soften. In this state, the toothpaste can act as an abrasive, damaging your teeth. It’s recommended to wait an hour to brush after eating or drinking acidic beverages.

Your mouth’s ph level is out of balance. Your dentist may be able to help bring your mouth’s pH level back to balance, which could include a diet with more alkaline-producing foods such as veggies and legumes.

You are a mouth breather. Having salivary gland or duct issues, such as Sjogren’s Syndrome or chronic mouth breathing, you are more likely to have cavities. This can also be genetic. Mouth breathing leads to dry mouth that enable bacterial growth, causing cavities and even gum disease. This condition can also make hygiene a little difficult. Dry mouth, by itself, can be caused by genetics, or it can be a symptom caused by alcohol or tobacco usage, or may be due to certain medications, like antidepressants.

You have deeper crevices In your teeth. Teeth that have more crevices or have deeper crevices make it easier for cavities to form and food debris and bacterial colonies to bury themselves into the tooth.

Finding Out If You’re Cavity-Prone in Downtown Seattle

If you are more frequently getting cavities, consult with us at Smile Art in Seattle. Let us help you determine the cause for a better and optimal oral health.


Surprise Link: Dental Health and Lung Health

Looking at the Tongue

Did you know that if you’ve got clean teeth, it’s very likely you’ve got clean lungs as well? Past studies among senior residents in nursing homes, assisted living facilities and hospitals show that at least.

Scientists from Kyushu University in Japan did a study among 506 septuagenarians in the town of Hisayama by scraping their tongues using a modified an electric toothbrush during a routine health check-up. The team intended to find samples of potentially threatening microbes in saliva that these people might have breathed in and caused pneumonia. They wanted to know what these microbes are. Together with details of the volunteer’s dental state, the microbes were counted and categorised based on their genes and match them with characteristics such as tooth decay and gingivitis.

They found two predominant groups of bacteria. One contained species that included Prevotella histicola, Veillonella atypica, Streptococcus salivarius, and Streptococcus parasanguinis. These microbes don’t sound familiar but they are mostly found among the elderly and are associated with an increased risk of dying from pneumonia. They are also more common in the aged with fewer teeth, higher plaque index, and teeth that have had caries. If they have poor oral hygiene, they tend to also have fungi in their mouths.

While a comprehensive health check was done on them, their health history or habits were not detailed. So why is there an increased risk of mortality from pneumonia in these people? What could have altered the microbes in their mouths?

The researchers say that it’s fair to assume that if we don’t take care of our teeth, we can suffer the consequences of medical conditions not even related with our mouths. It can be dying from pneumonia or heart disease even. Do we need more reasons to keep our mouths healthy or to stop smoking? To health practitioners, in particular dentists, the researchers say that careful attention should be given to the microbiota of the tongue in elderly patients who show poorer dental state. It may carry an increased risk of pneumonia in the lungs.

Taking Care of the Elderly’s Teeth in Downtown Seattle

We advise our patients and their families to always look after their oral health with proper oral hygiene, good habits and diet, and regular dental appointments. We take care of our teeth and they in turn will serve us well into our old age.


Chewing Gum

Reasons And Risks of Chewing Gum Often

People chew gum for a variety of reasons. For some chewing gum is the alternative to a breath freshener, tooth-brushing or a mouthwash to rid our breath of that nasty food odor. Sometimes, we chew gum to avoid cravings, and sometimes we’re just feeling uncomfortable or stressed, so we reach for a piece of gum. This habit is doing more bad than good, and here’s what gum chewing can do to our health.

Gum chewing habitually may negatively impacts dental health. Chewing gum is usually loaded with sugar which harmful bacteria digest to turn to acid destroying enamel. The prolonged contact of these sugars with your teeth increases the amount of plaque buildup and cause tooth decay to occur over time.

Chewing gum during times of high stress can cause TMJ dysfunction. The temporomandibular joint, which joins your jaw and its muscles to the rest of the skull will hurt every time you try to move your jaw away from its typical closed alignment. It will be painful to chew, or even yawn, and everything else related to moving your mouth and jaw.

There is constant compression in your jaw from excessive chewing and, aside from causing TMJ disorders, it also increases the number of tension headaches you experience and their frequency. It’s worse if you already have frequent migraines and headaches caused by other situations.

Though chewing gum can relieve nausea or an upset stomach, it can make these unpleasant symptoms worse. People may not realize it but when you chew gum, you swallow a bunch of little sips of air over time, filling your stomach with gas. All the more will your stomach bloat and make your tummy feel even more distended than before. Your indigestion problems will get worse.

Sugarless gum might be better due to its low caloric content, but not for those who have sensitive stomach issues or digestive problems. The artificial sweeteners in gum are sugar alcohols that behave like laxatives, causing cramping, digestive distress and even diarrhea. Those with irritable bowel syndrome (or IBS) are advised not to take products that contain a significant amount of sugar alcohols, not just chewing gum.

Many chew gum to curb their weight or to avoid snacking, but unbeknownst to most, the brain is led to thinking that the body actually is hungry because of the constant chewing motion. This might lead you to crave more and eat more. Also, the mint gum flavor makes you crave for junk foods rather than healthy options. It’s not the best dieting plan.

Ask Dr. Jaime Lee

We’ve got better advice for you other than chewing gum for optimal gum health over here at our office in downtown Seattle. See us at Smile Art for a consultation and learn more.