Although brushing and flossing is important to preserving good dental health, there are other risk factors that we battle in trying to stay cavity free.
A healthy oral microbiome is important for our overall health and wellness. We all know that sugary foods are a key contributor to tooth decay, however many don’t know the reason why they contribute to chat cavities. It can feel frustrating to feel as though we are doing our best to keep our mouths healthy only to still receive bad news at our dental visits.
Even if you are brushing and flossing correctly a diet that is rich in refined carbohydrates could be a potential culprit. Refined carbohydrates such as white bread, pasta, pizza dough, pastries, and sugary beverages such as juices or energy drinks, break down into simple sugars. That sugar turns to harmful acids that decrease the oral pH in your mouth.
Our mouths are full of different types of bacteria that live on all of the surfaces within our mouths. Some bacteria are considered good bacteria that are helpful and some are considered to be bad bacteria that can destroy our teeth. When the ph in our mouth lowers it makes the mouth more susceptible to cavities because the bad bacteria grows quickly in this environment. When the sugar we consume is exposed to the bad bacteria, it gives the bad bacteria the energy it needs to grow to form a sticky substance called plaque. The bad bacteria overload will cause the enamel of your teeth to break down. This constant battle between good and bad bacteria contributes to the process which creates those pesky cavities!  
Dry mouth is the condition when your mouth lacks adequate saliva to keep the teeth, tongue, and oral environment moist. Saliva helps to naturally rinse foods and plaque from sticking to your teeth. When one has chronic dry mouth they have a higher risk of developing decay. If you are taking certain medications, for example and are undergoing cancer treatment and taking chemotherapy drugs and/or radiation treatment. Certain medical conditions such as Sjogen’s syndrome causes your mouth to become unusually dry. You should contact your doctor to determine the root cause of your dry mouth. To help alleviate dry mouth you should drink water frequently, use alcohol free mouthwashes, and use sugar free lozenges that help keep the mouth moist.
We can combat these risk factors by introducing good bacteria into our mouth to fight against that bad bacteria that contributes to cavities. Introducing substances into our saliva such as using dental oral probiotics can help prevent cavities by fighting against plaque buildup. Oral probiotics counteract the harmful acids that the bacteria produces by introducing specific strains of good bacteria that are known to support a healthy oral biome, and improve oral health. Oral probiotics encourage the growth of good bacteria and help to suppress the bad bacteria that contributes to decay and other issues. They can help improve bad breath caused by harmful bacteria and help buildup the body’s immune defense. Changing out dietary habits as well as incorporating oral probiotics could hopefully set us up for better dental visits in the future.