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How Do Cavities Occur?

SEP 11

What Causes Dental Cavities?

Dental cavities in Oxnard, as many other conditions, have their own set of contributing factors that stem from genetic, environmental and behavioral origins. Some factors that are more readily controlled by daily treatment and regimen are dental hygiene, diet, dentition, carcinogenic bacteria, exposure to fluoride, exposure to pH changing fluids, and even the quality and quantity of saliva. However, there are other factors which play a part in the incidence of dental cavities which either can't be changed or withstand change: Age, gender, race, ethnicity, genetic predisposition, economic status and access to dental hygiene. Using this info, populations at risk of cavities could be better recognized.

Prevalence of Dental Cavities

Prevalence is the statistical number of cases of a condition found in a population at a time. Incidence is the number of cases that occur during a specific period. The perception that tooth decay is usually on the decline has come with greater public consciousness, fluoridation of several states water sources, fluoride toothpaste and application. It appears, nevertheless, that the prevalence of tooth cavities is diminishing for specific portions of the US population, and yet continues with a high prevalence in the poorest populations in the United States. By using income and percentage of people above the poverty level, risk assessment may be made for the different socioeconomic groups. The closer to the poverty threshold a person’s household, the greater the risk is for dental cavities.

Statistical info on Dental Caries

National Health and Nutrition Examination surveys are conducted by authorities every few years, monitoring the cavity rate in the United States. The latest survey suggests that 42 percent of kids between ages 2 and 11 have developed cavities in their baby teeth, with the majority being kids near poverty level. 59 percent of adolescents between ages 12 and 19 had tooth decay in their permanent teeth. Again, those in the lower income levels make up the majority of teens with tooth decay in Oxnard. Decay in adults is present in 23 percent of people between ages 20 and 64.

Cavities in adults follow comparable routines. Socioeconomically disadvantaged populations with less education and income have a much greater prevalence of tooth cavities. This is evidence that inhabitants need better access to the care that families in the top income brackets have.

Treatment and Preventive Strategies

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has recognized effective intervention strategies. These include enhancing the mother's dental hygiene to limit disease transmission to the child, fluoridated water, fluoride products, and xylitol, which is found in sugarless gum. Additionally, patients will need to make behavioral and dietary changes. There are many types of toothpaste that offer extremely effective preventative measures for tooth decay among youth. Awareness, access to care, early intervention and fluoride treatment will greatly reduce the prevalence of new cavities cases in the US. Contact your Oxnard dentist for more information today.

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