For whatever reason newsgroups are erratically unreliable for me, so I can't maintain threading and I've pasted your replies: Anth ([email protected]): > a friend of mine (who has never had a filling in his life and regularly sees a dentist every 6th > months) recently was told by his dentist that he has a cavity that needed filled. This struck me > as being odd as friend had always looked after his teeth - he's one of those 30 year old > 'regimental types.' So assuming that his dentist was correct, it took 6th months for his cavity > to manifest itself. The dentist said that he would treat it now before it started causing > problems. This sounds reasonable if the cavity is still small after 6 months. And reasonable to fill it while small. My cavities obviously are being "caught" while small. I wonder how a patient is supposed to see these. Joel M. Eichen > >How likely is it to form 3 (small) cavities during about 2 or 2.5 years at > >middle age, when I have never had any since preteen? (and that preteen cavity was only one small > >cavity). > > New dentist or old dentist? About 3 years Total of 3 cavities found since early 2001. (Or maybe late 2000.) Stephen Mancuso, D.D.S. >> How likely is it to form 3 > Not as likelly as with a steady history of problems, but indeed probable. Especially if there has > been a change in health status, habits, or life-style. Not much change in habits other than much better at removing tartar (preventing much calculus). Normally my teeth rapidly cover with tartar, calculus. Over decades. my gums have become very receded near salivary glands (lower front). I think the gum in other areas aren't much receded. My diet hasn't changed too much during the last 15 plus years. Far lower quantity of starchy things, because I'm far less physically active. And due to laziness or whatever, most recently I'm eating less veggies. I've always eaten some sweet things, often fruit. But even with processed sweet stuff, I think I eat less than the average American does. I drink only a few soft drinks per year so my teeth aren't soaking in sugar solution all day (the apple juice in the baby bottle problem). Otoh, milk naturally contains sugar. I've never drunk alcohol, coffee. Never smoked. I've never had good regular sleep. So not good, but not a change. The biggest and most abrupt difference in last 4 or 5 years is that I've gradually become better at keeping calculus down. I've reduced much of the calculus buildup between cleanings. Better brushing, ribbon floss that doesn't break and snag, better floss holder, and more frequent cleaning at dental offices. I also have a "dull" retail version of the metal "picks" that the hygienists use. Sliding it between the teeth easily knocks off flakes. But the flakes aren't very big these days. And I can't do this until a few months after a cleaning. Previously, the calculus built up within weeks. I can't prevent a thin line of calculus at the base of each tooth. Lightly dragging the pick along the edge of the gum is the best way to get at that narrow deposit. I've noticed this thin region still feels rough after the hygienists have performed final polishing of the teeth. So I wonder if all of this is reducing gum recession. Does calculus cause receding gums? Does the calculus protect the enamel from cavities? Does toothpaste and polishing destroy enamel? Do visits to dental offices encourage cavity finding? I can't see my own teeth. And I really can't see anything in x-rays, but I don't get a chance to really look at them. The first of the recent 3 cavities was on the inner surface of a tooth, but perhaps the opening was just a tiny pinhole, too small for my tongue to feel?? I'm going to try for an "advisory" appointment at the dental dept of a University. But I don't think they'll be able to detect what's happened in the recently filled cavities. -------- Is it possible to "train" the average patient to verify the existence of cavities among relatives, friends, etc.? Thanks for the responses.