Question:  I just returned from a dental visit and he told me that I had 6 new cavities.  I know I had missed my last few visits, but does this seem normal since I was in there a year and a half ago?

Answer:   The process of tooth decay hasn’t changed but the way we look at it has changed.  Basically decay results when naturally existing oral bacteria act on dietary fermentable carbohydrates, producing an acid that diffuses into tooth structure, dissolving it.  The bad things that cause the cavities are acid producing bacteria, sticky dietary carbohydrates and insufficient saliva.  The good things that protect the teeth include minerals and proteins in the saliva and of course fluoride.

Even though there has been a significant reduction in cavities for those younger than 18 years old, the decay rate for adults and seniors continue to be a problem.  The reason is that many adults are living longer, keeping their teeth and taking medications.  The end result is lots of teeth in a high risk population that produces less saliva.  One result that 22 percent of adults with teeth show evidence of root decay.  Root decay causes tooth loss, and the process can happen very quickly.

It is even possible that you could have been re-infected from another person who is a carrier of the organism that causes decay.

Unfortunately, I find your situation all too common in my practice.  Those who are at risk are placed on a prescription of fluoride and are seen more frequently in our office to monitor and treat at an early stage of the breakdown

Cause of Cavities Explained by Shelby Township Dentist