01/23/2011  |  
Posted in tooth decay
Make Tooth Decay Go Away By Following These Guidelines

Dental caries — more commonly known as tooth decay — is the result of having too much acid-producing bacteria inside the mouth, which causes cavities to form. Unlike other medical conditions that can directly be linked to genetics, tooth decay is mainly caused when the delicate balance between disease causing and health promoting activities is uneven.

If you know the proper way to brush your teeth (avoiding overzealous, horizontal strokes), brush them twice a day, floss daily and use fluoride toothpaste, you are on the right track when it comes to promoting the health of your teeth. However, all of that good work can be negated by participation in a few common disease-causing behaviors. These can include smoking, drinking sods and acidic beverages frequently, snacking between meals, not seeking medical guidance if you have frequent heartburn or acid reflux, and taking medications that cause dry mouth.

Talking to your dentist about how to maintain adequate saliva production is one of the best ways that you can help avoid tooth decay because saliva helps to maintain a neutral pH environment inside your mouth. Using a mouth rinse that contains the ingredient sodium hypochlorite can also help, as it kills bacteria and raises pH, thereby lowering acidity.

To learn more about a wide range of oral health topics, please read the following Dear Doctor magazine articles:

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