Poor dental hygiene and sugary foods have always been the main culprits of cavities, especially in children. According to the CDC, over 31% of adults ages 20 to 44 in the United States currently have untreated cavities, and in children between ages 5 to 19 years old, at least 16% of them had untreated cavities. While that percentage continues to go down over time, families severely affected by cavities, even with proper diet and oral hygiene recommendations, often may find themselves experiencing tooth decay more prominently than others. If this sounds familiar, then we suggest checking your home for black mold.
How Black Mold Can Cause Tooth Decay
Black mold doesn’t cause tooth decay directly but rather occurs through a selective series of events that coincide with it. Cavities normally appear due to the development of plaque buildup. This plaque buildup contains bacteria that are harmful to the tooth’s enamel. By hardening along with the enamel, it creates a constant feeding mechanism due to unprocessed sucrose, moist warm environments, and a relatively safe hosting environment for this bacteria to grow. If bad oral habits or sugary drinks don’t cause this, then what does cause it?
Black mold could potentially be the culprit. Black mold is one among 300,000 species of fungi that develop in houses and often causes respiratory and nasal problems for people and their families—originating from the bacteria Stachybotrys, this fungi releases mycotoxin, or spores, which spreads throughout the home and can land everywhere. It often travels into people’s nasal and lung airways, and due to the irritation caused by these spores, inflammation in the nasal and lung passages often occurs. This inflammation is highly responsible for causing dry mouth, which often leads to a lack of saliva production. Because saliva is a highly crucial way of riding the mouth of bacteria, dry mouth prevents that removal and can lead to an increased risk of developing cavities.
What Can You Do To Prevent Black Mold
With children continuing to eat less sugar and practice better oral habits, black mold may be to blame. However, more dental research is still needed to understand the relationship between black mold and cavities. If you have black mold in your home, follow the FEMA guidelines on removing black mold, and follow these steps:
- Seek Medical Attention For Severe Symptoms: If your respiratory and nasal symptoms have become severe, contact a professional mold remover, and visit the emergency room if your symptoms become life-threatening.
- Schedule an Appointment with an ENT: Visiting your ENT, or ears nose and throat physician, will help remove any internal mycotoxin infections left within the nasal and lung passageways.
- Visit Your Dentist For A Cleaning: Even if you don’t feel or see any signs of tooth decay, visiting your dentist will allow you to check your oral health and address any issues that may have occurred.
Even while more research is needed to understand the potential causes of black mold and cavities, our dentists at McCartney Dental are here for you and will be happy to help you with any of your dental concerns.