Dental cavities are the most common disease in childhood and the most common chronic disease around the world. Since the 1930s and ‘40s, scientists have been exploring whether there is a genetic predisposition to cavities, or if diet and nutrition are to blame. Unfortunately, there is no absolute answer. Both genetics and nutrition play a role in a person’s predisposition to cavities; however, there is plenty you can do to limit tooth decay and cavities.
What Are Cavities?
Cavities, called dental caries by dental health professionals, are areas on the tooth where the enamel has been eaten away by acid. Cavities can occur anywhere on the surface of a tooth, but can continue to deepen beyond the surface and eat into the entire tooth structure. When they are small or surface cavities, treatment is managed with fillings. If cavities reach the root structure of the tooth, a root canal and crown will typically be required. Therefore, cavities are not just bad for your teeth; they can be expensive and cause multiple, inconvenient trips to the dentist to treat them. Further, the bacteria from your mouth can travel into your bloodstream and impact other areas of your body, an occurrence that is linked to heart disease, diabetes and more.