One of our greatest defenses against cavities, in addition to proper care, is our saliva. Our salivary glands are primarily located in our cheeks and underneath our tongues, and create two types of saliva: serous saliva and mucoid saliva. The serous saliva is the kind that is important in preventing cavities. What makes this saliva so important, is that it helps to neutralize the acids in the mouth that cause cavities.
Unfortunately, as we age, our salivary glands begin to be used for things like storing fat. Over time, these fat cells replace the cells that secreted saliva, and we begin to experience dry mouth (xerostomia). After we start suffering from dry mouth, our mouths becomes more acidic and we start to develop more cavities. When you put all of this together, it is easy to see why we develop more cavities with age.
In addition to the aforementioned problem, there are many medicines and medical treatments that can cause dry mouth. For starters, many required medications have dry mouth as a side effect. Unfortunately, since these medications are not optional, people usually cannot stop taking the medication. Next, medical treatments, like chemotherapy, hinder the process of cell development. Due to this, our salivary gland cells do not regenerate as quickly, and our saliva production suffers.
As you grow older, it is important to maintain your oral wellness visits. Our mouths undergo many changes as we age, and it is important to stay on top of things with help from your dentist and oral hygienists. There are many treatments available to help combat cavities, including fluoride treatments, and hygiene products that contain fluoride.
If you have a cavity and live in the North Royalton area, or would like to schedule an appointment with professionals who can help your situation, contact us today. The team at Royalton Dental is always welcoming new patients, and wants to start taking care of your smile today.