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Age and cavities

  1. Dec 9, 2003 #1
    My sister and I never had any cavities as kids. However once my sister hit around 18 she got a couple. I just went to the dentist and got word that I have three all of a sudden. As a kid I maybe brushed once a day, nothing else. Now I brush twice a day, use floride rinse and floss. So why did I get hit with three cavities? Is there a connection between age and cavities, something genetic possibly?
     
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  3. Dec 9, 2003 #2

    iansmith

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    Cavities and plaque is produce by bacteria degrading your food and producing acid. The acid burns you teeth. With age you migth become more sensitive to the acid due to a change in your diet. Also you microflora of you mouth migth have change significantly since your childhood. You are sterilizing your mouth more efficiently and new bateria can establish. You exchange bacteria when kiss. Is you girlfirend more prone to cavities?

    Cavity sensivity can be tested. In one of our microbiology class, we had to chew parafilm for a minutes and collect the saliva. We then incubate the saliva inside a medium that turn from green to yellow as acid is produce. The faster it turn yellow the more likely you will have cavities. It took about 72 hour for me to turn yellow some people had it inside 24 hours.
     
  4. Dec 9, 2003 #3
    Sounds like a cool experiment. Do you remember what medium you used?
     
  5. Dec 9, 2003 #4

    iansmith

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  6. Dec 9, 2003 #5

    Monique

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    Chewing parafilm, that should be healthy with all the plasticides and softners and what in there..

    But Ian summarized the factors very well. Important also is to eat a healthy diet so that the strengh of the teeth is maintained (not sure what that diet should be composed of, milk?). A very very very very important factor: do you drink pop/soda? Do you brush after drinking pop/soda?

    First of all, the H2CO3 in pop is an assault on your teeth, the drink is very acetic and dissolves the outer layer of your teeth. Also it contains loads of sugar. The situation is worsened when you brush right after drinking pop, you will actually do damage since the composition has not stabilized yet.

    So: do not drink pop/soda, it is very bad for you in multiple ways.

    A good thing to do (better than those alcoholic mouth washes) is to chew lots of sugar free gum. Why? You will produce lots of saliva (the reason Ian had to chew parafilm), this flow of saliva will prevent bacteria from settling, you will also secrete nutrilizing chemicals and it might also prevent plack from settling and all the loose chunks of food get taken up.

    I would be carefull with the fluoride washes though (are you using ACT?) only rinse once a week. Fluoride pulls calcium out of your bones.

    Besides that, cavities can be genetic, my parents have problems with cavities and my dentist always sits me down with a strong fluoride gel in my mouth for like 15 minutes for extra protection, normally a dentist would not do that.
     
  7. Dec 9, 2003 #6

    iansmith

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    Here the Safety Data Sheet
    http://www.2spi.com/catalog/msds/msds01851.html

    It is only hydrocarbon wax. It shouldn't be that bad.

    For fluoride to pull calcium out of your bone the concentration requires to be higher than in these product unless the usage is really over the recommended usage.

    I worked in an aluminun smelting plant for 3 summer in the enviroment lab. Fluoride is the one of major pollutant of these smelting plant. We got the fluoride talk every year. :wink:

    That seem to be over the top. Unless your parents have problem with their enamel and calcium. My mom is also prone to cavities because there is not enough room for her teeth. My brother had the same problem
     
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