Dental Care – Tooth Decay Disease

Soon after brushing your teeth, a thin, sticky layer forms on the surface of all your teeth. This layer contains many bacteria and is called plaque.When you eat anything sugary, the bacteria in plaque turn the sugar into the energy they need, producing acid at the same time.The acid softens and dissolves the hard surface covering the tooth (enamel) to slowly produce a cavity (demineralisation). This is called tooth decay or "caries".Enamel doesn't contain any nerves so you won't feel any pain at first. Eventually a cavity may reach the dentine - the white substance underneath the enamel that forms the bulk of a tooth.Dentine is sensitive to pain so you will feel advanced cavities,especially when eating or drinking hot, sugary or acidic things.

Saliva helps to wash away and neutralize the acid. It also contains minerals to replace those lost from the enamel during acid attack.Demineralization and re mineralization are repeated every time we eat or drink something sugary. It's an ongoing battle between the acid and our saliva. If sugary food or drinks are consumed too often, the saliva doesn't get long enough to fully re mineralise the teeth, making tooth decay more likely.

Gum Disease :-
Gum disease is very common, affecting most adults in the UK to some degree.When plaque remains on the teeth for too long, it collects near your gums and turns into a hard substance called tartar (or calculus). Tartar, and plaque, causes your gums to become irritated, red and swollen. This is the early stage of gum disease and is called gingivitis.The most common sign of gingivitis is your gums may bleed when you brush them.This should be a sign you need to clean you teeth more thoroughly rather than less.If gingivitis isn't treated, the tissue and bone supporting the teeth is gradually lost. This is called periodontal disease. After a long time teeth affected by periodontal disease can become wobbly, and may eventually fall out. To prevent gum disease you need to regularly brush your teeth and clean between your teeth with floss or inter dental brushes. This reduces the build up of plaque and tartar.

Dental Erosion :-
Dental erosion is the loss of the enamel, caused by acid attacking the surface of your teeth. This time the acids aren't from bacteria. Instead, they usually come from drinks such as fruit juices, fizzy drinks and squashes - even fizzy water.These drinks are so popular that nearly half of the children in the UK have some dental erosion by the age of six.Dental erosion is irreversible and can result in sensitivity and pain if the dentine becomes exposed. This also makes tooth decay more likely, and it can be unsightly as eroded areas of teeth are darker.Erosion can be prevented by drinking acidic drinks less often, and only at meal times. You may be able to reduce the amount of contact your teeth have with acidic liquids by drinking through a straw.

How to look up after your teeth :-
Maintaining good oral hygiene is critical to prevent tooth decay and gum disease.This means cleaning your teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste, visiting the dentist and hygienist regularly and controlling how often you consume sugar.

Brush Your Teeth :-
Brushing is the most effective way of removing plaque.Here are some tips for getting the most benefit out of toothbrush :-

brush at least twice a day.
use fluoride toothpaste to protect against.
decay use a toothbrush with a small head and soft or medium synthetic bristles.
start at one side of your mouth and move round to the other side.
brushing all the tooth surfaces thoroughly pay particular attention to the gum line,angling the bristles into the crevices where the gum meet the teeth replace your toothbrush at least every three months.Some people prefer an electric toothbrush. There is some evidence that certain types of electric toothbrush are more efficient at removing plaque than brushing by hand. However, the thoroughness of the cleaning is much more important than what type of brush you use. You must clean every surface of every tooth and a small toothbrush, whether electric or not, will help.

Clean between your teeth :-
Dental floss or inter dental brushes remove plaque and particles of food from between the teeth and under the gum line,These are areas that a toothbrush can’t reach.Correct technique is important,so ask for advice from your dentist or hygienist.You may find inter dental brushes easier and more convenient then floss.

Consider mouthwash :-
Fluoride mouthwashes can help to prevent tooth decay.Some antiseptic mouthwashes reduce the number of plaque bacteria and help prevent gum disease.If you are regularly using mouthwash to freshen your breath,talk to your dentist for advice,as this may be sign of poor oral hygiene.Always read the instructions on the box or bottle.

Chew gum:-
Chewing sugar-free gum after meal stimulated the production of saliva,which helps to neutralize plaque acid.Some chewing gum contain a sugar-free sweeter called xylitol,which suppresses certain types of plaque bacteria.

Control sugar in your diet :-
Sugary foods and drinks encourage tooth decay.But it’s how often these sugars are eaten-rather than the amount-that is important.Avoiding sugars meals gives your teeth a chance to be remineralised by saliva.Limiting sugar between mealtimes is particularly important for children.Children who eat sweets or drink sugary juice over a long period are more likely to develop tooth decay.Its also good for your general health to reduce your sugar intake.Do not frequently ear acidic food or drink,like fizzy drinks or citrus fruit juice,as these also encourage tooth decay and erosion.

Alcohol and tobacco :-
Drinking alcohol and smoking or chewing tobacco is associated with an increased risk of developing mouth cancer.Smoking also stains the teeth and increases the risk of gum disease and tooth loss.Alcoholic drinks,and the mixers used with them,often contain lots of sugar,and also increase the risk of tooth decay.

Visiting the dentist and hygienist :-
Dentists and hygienists play an important role in preventing problems such as tooth decay,gum disease and erosion.At check-ups,they will be able to detect any problems early,and provide advice and treatment.

Dentists :-
Your dentist will give your advice about how often you should have a check-up.For adults,this should be at least once a year.Children,and adults who are at high risk of developing dental disease,need to see a dentist more often.You may be at high risk if you smoke,have a diet high in sugar,or have had lots of dental treatment in the past.

Even through brushing and flossing can’t remove every trace of plaque.Most of People have irregularities in their teeth where plaque can accumulate out of reach of brushing and harden into tartar.This can only be removed by a dentist or hygienist using a special scaling instrument.Polishing,using a rotating brush and abrasive paste,removes stains from teeth.