Children And Cavities - Why Sugar Is Not Always The Culprit

18 May 2018
 Categories: Dentist, Blog


If you are a parent, then you probably understand that sweets and candies go hand in hand. If your child is serious about oral care and still develops cavities, then you may be seriously concerned about this. Well, there are some cases where cavities form even when the best care and diet are followed. Keep ready to learn why this is true.

Reduced Saliva Production

Saliva is a fluid that is created with a wide variety of different substances. While the bulk of saliva is water, the fluid also contains some antibiotics, enzymes, and buffers. Enzymes start to break down carbohydrates and sugars, antibiotics keep bacterial growth at bay, and buffers control the pH of the mouth so it does not become too acidic. You can see how the buffers and the antibiotic agents would be helpful in reducing cavity formation. 

You may have heard of senior citizens developing dry mouth issues as they age and also forming cavities. Unfortunately, dry mouth can affect people who are much younger as well. Children, in particular, may not produce enough saliva. This is something commonly seen in individuals who are diabetic. Diabetes affects the salivary glands and reduces saliva production, especially if the condition is not controlled. 

Medications, like ones for asthma, allergies, ADD, and cancer can also cause a dry mouth and injury to the salivary glands due to birth defects, cancer, HIV, and some autoimmune disorders.

If you think that your child may suffer from a dry mouth condition, speak with your dentist about the use of fluids, medication, or saliva replacements that can help.

Low Levels of Flouride

Many people drink fluoridated water and this fluoride helps to strengthen the tooth enamel. However, not everyone has ready access to the water. If you have a well or spring on your property that supplies your water, then your child may simply be deficient in the nutrient. Some municipalities also have lower fluoride levels than others, so speak with your local water authority to see what the levels are in your area. 

If your child has not received a great deal of fluoride, then ask your dentist about fluoride supplements, varnishes, and rinses. Also, inquire about the use of adult dental products, like enamel strengthening kinds of toothpaste that contain more fluoride than ones made for children. 

Keep in mind that too much fluoride can lead to fluorosis, which can create white spots on the teeth. In other words, there is definitely too much of a good thing when it comes to fluoride, so work with your family dentist to understand how much fluoride is too much.

If you are concerned about your child developing cavities, then speak with a family dentistry clinic like Apollo Dental Center.