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All About Tooth Decay and Its Affect on Our Health

12 Nov, 2015

All About Tooth Decay and Its Affect on Our Health

Tooth Decay is caused by acid producing bacteria that has been left on our teeth. If we do not look after our mouths properly and form bad habits then the bacteria known as 'Tartar' or 'Plaque' will form a soft sticky film on our teeth leading to Tooth Decay and Gum Disease.
There are 3 layers of a tooth:
Enamel - This is the outer layer of the tooth. Once the decay has made its way into the enamel of the tooth it will slowly make its way to the second layer of the enamel. This can take sometimes a couple of years.
Dentine - Is the second layer of the enamel. Once the decay has made its way through to the dentine the decay will start spreading more rapidly towards the Pulp Chamber of the tooth. Most of the tooth structure can be destroyed in a matter of weeks.
Pulp/Nerve Chamber - This is a vital area that contains the nerves of the teeth and the blood supply. As the Bacteria progresses closer to the nerve pain in the tooth will become more intense.
There are 3 Stages of Decay:
White Spot - This is early decay. After eating the plaque becomes acidic and dissolves the tooth enamel. Fluoride toothpaste can actually help to repair the damaged enamel at this stage before it becomes a cavity.
Cavity - If enough enamel is lost the tooth surface breaks down forming a cavity. At this stage the tooth needs repairing by a Dental Professional.
Advanced Tooth Decay - This occurs if the decay enters the pulp chamber of the tooth it will cause inflammation, pain and eventually an abscess
Some people are more susceptible to different degrees of tooth decay depending on the shape of their teeth, and the capacity of their saliva. There are many other contributing factors it can be hereditary, diet & lifestyle play a big part and the most common cause is Poor Oral Hygiene. We need to brush our teeth with fluoride toothpaste at least twice a day. Flossing should be done a minimum of once a day. Regular check up appointments with the Dentist will help to keep everything in line.
The decay in our mouths can affect the rest of our health. Research has shown that bacteria can be inhaled into the lungs causing lung problems. Tooth decay has also been linked to Heart Disease, Chronic Fatigue and other forms of chronic illnesses. If you are prone to tooth decay then act now before it takes over your health.

My name is Emma and I have been in the Dental Industry for 25 years. During that time i have seen many sufferers of tooth decay. People of all ages for different reasons suffer from tooth decay. While it is important to brush our teeth and floss regularly it is just as important to watch our diet, and try to remember to rinse your mouth with water after every meal. This will help to wash away the acidic bacteria.
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