22 August 2020

What causes tooth decay


1.       How does dental decay develop?

Tooth decay is the destruction of enamel which is the outer white layer of the teeth. When a tooth is constantly exposed to the acid, which is the product of reaction between sugars in food/drinks and bacteria, the enamel starts to deteriorate. Early sign of decay can be seen as a white spots which then transformed into a cavity or a hole over time.

2.       Why are some people more prone to cavities?
There are a few factors that can contribute to dental decay.
·       Genetic (yes dental issues can run in the family)
·       Diet (sticky food, sugary snacks and drinks, soda and acidic drinks)
·       Frequent snacking or sipping
·       Dry mouth (low quantity of saliva cannot effectively wash away food and plaque from your teeth)
·       Inadequate brushing
·       Old dental fillings (worn dental fillings create rough edges allowing plaque to build up easily)
·       Heartburn (stomach acid can wear away the outer layer of tooth)
·       Not getting enough fluoride (fluoride helps prevent cavities and can reverse early signs of decay)

3.       How does frequent snacking affect your teeth?

Saliva in our oral cavity continuously try to neutralize the acids produced by bacteria and carbohydrates. A Resting pH (6.7-7.3) in the oral cavity is maintained by saliva. However, the pH drops when a certain amount of carbohydrateor sugar is consumed, and enamel demineralisation occurs if it drops below a pH of 5.5. It takes about 30 mins to go back to neutral. If the oral cavity is frequently exposed to carbohydrates, this creates a continual acid bath over your teeth.

Therefore itsbetter to eat sugary sweets in one go instead of frequently throughout the day

4.        How to prevent dental caries?

Good dental hygiene can help you avoid unpleasant situations. Here are some easy tips:
·       Brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste
·       Drink tap water (bottle water doesn’t contain fluoride)
·       Avoid frequent snacking and sipping
·       Visit dentist regularly
·       Apply Tooth mousse if needed
·       Consider Fissure sealants if you have deep grooves

5.       When do you need to see a dentist?

Book a dental appointment as soon as possible if you have:
·       A toothache
·       Sensitivity to hot or cold food and drinks
·       Black, brown or white stains on your tooth surface
·       Got food stuck between your teeth
·       Pain on biting or chewing


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