Tooth decay is the most common medical condition. It affects 90-95% of the world’s population.
There are multiple factors that play a role in the cause of tooth decay.
Mainly it comes down to the individual’s diet and oral hygiene but there are other factors playing a part like medical conditions such as;
- stomach reflux
- the quality of the saliva
- the integrity of the already formed tooth structure
- environmental factors such as the amount of aggressive bacteria present in the mouth
- uneven or rough surface of the teeth that possibly traps more food such as deep narrow grooves and pits in our teeth or a chipped tooth for example
The frequent exposure to food and drinks create an acidic environment in the mouth that slowly draws out minerals from the tooth crystals. It starts out very small weakening the outer layer or the tooth that is called Enamel. It’s difficult to notice at home given it does not produce any symptoms like pain or sensitivity.
Regular 6 monthly dental visits are highly recommended as it can be detected by your dental professional in time by performing a thorough oral examination and taking dental radiographs.
These early decays are usually reversible however if left untreated it can quickly develop into a bigger more painful condition once it makes it’s way through the tough outer layer. The second layer of our teeth is called Dentine and it is much softer than Enamel which means bacteria can eat it’s way through to the pulp where the nerve is located at a much faster pace. Unfortunately once it has reached that point the diagnosis will either be an extraction of the tooth or committing to a costly and time consuming root canal therapy to save the tooth.
What can you do to avoid tooth decay? – you may ask.
Our advice is:
- Brush twice a day, morning and night to remove soft plaque off the teeth
- Floss to remove food and bacteria trapped between the teeth
- Drink plenty of plain water to balance the PH levels in your mouth
- See your dentist 6 monthly for an examination and professional clean
- Use appropriate tooth paste that is non abrasive and fluoride based
- Eat more healthy fresh produce to minimise consuming too much processed food
- Book appointment with your regular clinician to restore existing conditions such as deep fissures, pits or chips in the teeth