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To understand what happens when your teeth decay, it's helpful to know what's in your mouth naturally. Here are a few of the elements:
Saliva ? Your mouth and teeth are constantly bathed in saliva. We never give much thought to our spit, but this fluid is remarkable for what it does to help protect our oral health. Saliva keeps teeth and other parts of your mouth moist and washes away bits of food. Saliva contains minerals that strengthen teeth. It includes buffering agents. They reduce the levels of acid that can decay teeth. Saliva also protects against some viruses and bacteria.
Plaque ? Plaque is a soft, gooey substance that sticks to the teeth a bit like jam sticks to a spoon. Like the slime that clings to the bottom of a swimming pool, plaque is a type of biofilm. It contains large numbers of closely packed bacteria, components taken from saliva, and bits of food. Also in the mix are bacterial byproducts and white blood cells. Plaque grows when bacteria attach to the tooth and begin to multiply. Plaque starts forming right after a tooth is cleaned. Within an hour, there's enough to measure. As time goes on, the plaque thickens. Within two to six hours, the plaque teems with bacteria that can cause cavities and periodontal (gum) disease.
Calculus ? If left alone long enough, plaque absorbs minerals from saliva. These minerals form crystals and harden into calculus. Then new plaque forms on top of existing calculus. This new layer can also become hard.
Bacteria ? We have many types of bacteria in our mouths. Some bacteria are good; they help control destructive bacteria. When it comes to decay, Streptococcus mutans and Lactobacilli are the bacteria that cause the most damage to teeth.
How Your Teeth Decay
The bacteria in your mouth need food to live and multiply. When you eat sugary foods, or even starches such as rice, the bacteria use them as food, too. The bacteria then produce acids that can dissolve tooth enamel (outer layer of the tooth).
It's not just candy and ice cream we're talking about. All carbohydrate foods eventually break down into simple sugars. Some of this process begins in the mouth.
Foods that break down into simple sugars in the mouth are called fermentable carbohydrates. These include the obvious sugary foods, such as cookies, cakes, soft drinks and candy. But they also include pretzels, crackers, bananas, potato chips and breakfast cereals.
Bacteria in your mouth turn the sugars in these foods into acids. These acids begin to dissolve the mineral crystals in teeth. The more times you eat each day, the more times your teeth are exposed to an acid attack.
This attack can lead to tooth decay, also known as dental caries or cavities. First, the acid begins to dissolve calcium and phosphate crystals inside a tooth. A white spot may appear on the enamel in this weakened area. But the loss of minerals develops beneath the surface of the enamel. The surface may still be smooth.
At this stage, the tooth can be repaired with the help of fluoride, proteins and minerals (calcium and phosphate) in the saliva. The saliva also helps reduce the acid levels from bacteria that attack the tooth.
Once the decay breaks through the enamel to cause a cavity, the damage is permanent. A dentist must clean out the decay and fill the cavity. Left untreated, the decay will get worse. It can destroy a tooth all the way through the enamel, through the inside dentin layer and down to the pulp or nerve of the tooth. That's why it is important to treat caries at a very early stage, when the process can be reversed.
Types of Decay
Young children can get a type of decay called baby bottle tooth decay or early childhood caries. It destroys enamel quickly. This type of decay is common in children who are put to sleep with a bottle of milk or juice. The bottle exposes the teeth constantly to carbohydrates through the night. Bacteria can grow rapidly and produce acid that decays teeth.
Decay can become worse if the parent does not clean the child's teeth. It can eat through enamel and leave a large cavity in a matter of months.
In older adults, the exposed roots of teeth can develop cavities. This is called root caries. Older adults are more likely to have receding gums caused by years of hard brushing or periodontal disease. They also are more likely to have dry mouth (xerostomia). The decrease in saliva results in less protection of the teeth. This increases the risk of decay. Many common medicines can cause dry mouth. Be sure to ask the doctor or pharmacist if any of your medicines cause dry mouth.
Decay can form beneath fillings or other tooth repairs, such as crowns. Sometimes bacteria and bits of food can slip between the tooth and a filling or crown. This can happen if the filling cracks or pulls away from the tooth, leaving a gap.
Do you or your family members get cavities often? Dental research has found out that certain factors can affect your risk of tooth decay. These factors include:
The current number of decayed or filled teeth
Your fluoride exposure, including fluoride in drinking water, toothpaste and rinses, and fluoride treatments in the dental office
Parents or siblings with dental decay
How well you take care of your teeth
The amount of saliva and the balance of minerals, enzymes and buffering agents it contains
How often and what types of foods you eat (especially fermentable carbohydrates)
Ask your dentist about the best ways to reduce your risks and limit dental decay.
To prevent your teeth from decaying, you can do three things:
Strengthen your teeth's defenses with fluoride, sealants and agents that contain calcium and phosphate ions.
Have your dentist or dental hygienist place sealants on your back teeth.
Reduce the number of bacteria in your mouth.
Fluoride penetrates into teeth. It strengthens them by replacing minerals that acid has removed. The benefits of fluoride to teeth were first discovered in the 1930s. Dentists started to notice that people who drank water that naturally contained fluoride had less tooth decay. In 1945, communities started to add fluoride to water supplies. Adding fluoride to water systems has been the most successful cavity prevention method to date.
In the early 1960s, fluoride also began to be added to toothpaste. This also had a major impact on cavity prevention. Now almost all toothpastes contain fluoride. Everyone should brush with a fluoride toothpaste every day. Dental offices sometimes recommend higher levels of fluoride in toothpastes, gels and mouth rinses for both children and adults.
Sealants are protective coatings placed over the tops of the back teeth ? molars. They block bacteria and acids from sticking in the tiny grooves on the chewing surfaces of these teeth. Sealants can be placed in adults and children. Children can have sealants placed on their permanent molars once they come in, around age 6. Sometimes they are also used on primary (baby) molars. Dentists can put sealants on molars with signs of early decay, as long as the decay hasn't broken through the enamel.
You can never get rid of all the bacteria in your mouth. But you can take steps to control and disrupt the bacteria so they don't attack your teeth:
Brush twice a day.
Reduce the number of times each day that you consume fermentable carbohydrates.
Some mouthwashes reduce bacteria in your mouth. This can help prevent decay. Chewing sugarless gums, especially those with xylitol, can help reduce the number of bacteria that cause cavities and increase the flow of saliva.
Most importantly, visit your dentist regularly. Then the dentist can find any decay early, when it can be treated and reversed.
I am 26 years old female. My right side first molar teeth is become highly sensible. And left side first molar teeth is already with ceramic filling coated. I was under medicine for my right side teeth but after I completed the course it came back to its same position. I can not eat any sweets on both sides. What should I do now?
If chewing food and retaining a sparkling smile is not enough for you, avoiding toothaches and a visit to the dentist could be reason enough to maintain healthy teeth. Ignoring your tooth health can lead to many problems. Answer yourself the following question. Would you like your teeth inside your mouth or in a glass tumbler beside your bed at nighttime?
If you opted for the former, then going through the following tips and advices will go a long way in helping you sustain healthy teeth. They are:
- Brush and floss twice a day: Brushing and flossing twice a day, on a regular basis will help you maintain healthy teeth and gums in the long run. The ideal time to brush your teeth is 20 minutes after a meal. Opting for a toothbrush with a small head and soft bristles gives you better access to even the deeper portions of your mouth, thus providing comprehensive cleansing to your teeth. Moreover, softer bristles are generous on your gums as well.
- Nutrition: Whatever you eat, either protects you or makes you more susceptible to diseases and disorders. This stands true for your oral health as well. As such, choosing the right foods early in your life is of vital importance. Foods such as cold drinks, cakes, candies and other such sugary substances facilitate the growth of germ and bacteria in your mouth, resulting in plaque and cavities. Choosing foods that are low in starch and sugar will reduce the development of germs and help eradicate cavities or plaque in the long run.
- Smoking: Even the pack of smoke that you buy endorses smoking is injurious to your general health. Smoking causes reduced flow of blood to the mouth, which resultantly leads to increased chances of periodontal disease and mouth cancer. Smoking, moreover causes a decline in the ability of the bones and tissues to revascularize (self-heal). All else apart, just stop smoking.
- Chewing gums: Chewing gums are highly beneficial especially after a meal. They not only increase the flow of saliva in your mouth, but also improves the flow of blood to your brain, thus enhancing your alertness by close to 10%. In addition, chewing gums help neutralize the acid in your mouth, thus helping you cleanse your mouth.
The dentists have told me that they would have to pick out my four teeth to brace my teeth. That's why i'm afraid of doing that. What are the side effects of having brace on teeth (specially on brain does it lead to brain cancer)
All of sudden my gums started to bleed when I brush .I take vit C and calcium everyday. What can I do.
My wife is 33 yrs. Old female, has pairia in teeth with smell from last 8 years. What should she do?
I have a pain in teeth since 3 days so what to do It's paining a lot so can you help me with some home remedies.
Sir, I m 28 years old female, during sleep at night mere mouth me pani bhr jata hai, is it any problem?
My tongue has become tasteless. What ever ieat I do not get that taste but I have a sort of saltish taste in my tongue.
POOR ORAL HEALTH LEADS TO
1)ORAL AND FACIAL PAIN
2)PROBLEMS WITH HEART AND MAJOR ORGANS
WHAT CAN YOU DO
1)BRUSH YOUR TEETH TWICE PROPERLY
2)EAT HEALTHY (VIT A AND C)
3)AVOID SMOKING JUNK FOOD TOBACCO
4)SCHEDULE YOUR REGULAR APPOINTMENT WITH YOUR DENTIST
DR DIVAANSHU DEEWAAN.....S.K DENTAL CARE
SHOP NO 2 C1 CHANKAPYA PLACE JANAK PURI