Decaying teeth can expose the innermost parts of the tooth, and lead to toothache, or worse, infection. Decaying simply means being that part of the enamel is being etched away at a quicker rate than is usual and it is as a result of consuming certain foods, such as sugar, that this accelerated loss occurs. When part of the enamel is worn away, bacteria are free to enter and congregate at this site. This increased presence, and non removal of the bacteria, can lead to infection and abscess. This is turn leads to either root canal treatment, a choice that makes many people recoil with horror at the thought of, or by simply extracting the afflicted tooth. But knowledge is power, and armed with how to avoid these products and end situations, and indeed which foods are good for your teeth, one can lay the groundwork for having sound oral hygiene.
Sugar and Citric Acids
The role of these two products, especially sugar, is the leading cause of decaying teeth globally. Sugar, in one form or another, is added to most dessert style products, cakes, pastries chocolate, and a whore store of other items that seem irresistible to the younger consumer. As sugar gives taste, these products have got to contain sugar and the more the better as far as the manufacturers are concerned. Of course, it isn’t in the best interests of oral hygiene for kids looking for a sweet-type snack, but oftentimes, they have no option but to purchase something containing sugar. Citric acids are acids normal found in citrus fruits, and can be highly corrosive in concentrated amounts, which is exactly what is found in lemon and lime tarts or similar products. This acid eats away at the enamel of the tooth unless brushed immediately from the mouth, and the sticky nature of the products containing citric acids means that they can cling to the teeth for longer periods of time, causing the appearance of more damage.
How long does it take for Teeth to Decay?
Enamel is a hard substance, and it can take years or months for a tooth to decay to the point of requiring treatment, and conditions have to be correct for the decaying process to actually take place. This happens when a combination of sugars in the diet combines with plaque (including the dental bacteria it harbours) already on the tooth. This process is referred to by dentists as demineralisation of the tooth. Of course, these conditions don’t always exist, and when they do is the only time any decaying will take place.
Why do so many People in the World Suffer from Tooth Decay?
There are a variety of reasons for people suffering tooth decay. Some of these are not the fault of the individual others seem to be due to the individual actions, or non actions. Some of the more common reasons are:
- Geographical. Many people live in inhospitable conditions, and far from civilisation. People in these positions must self learn some basic dentistry skills themselves, or have a community member do it, as well as make attempts to brush away the sugar sitting on the teeth after eating on an everyday basis.
- A shortage of dentists in some countries around the world has reached depressing levels, with thousands of patients queuing for the services of a single dentist. This is due to both not enough young qualified dentists coming through the education system, but also to do with a lack of finances with which to set up practices.
- Old fillings in the mouth can chip or be etched away, attracting bacteria if proper brushing is not done. The bacteria can combine with sugars to decay the tooth.
- Simply with growing older, the gum-line can recede and be more at risk to periodontal diseases, which can attract plaque to the root of the tooth. Again, if this is not dealt with, problems can arise.
Consistent advice has emerged from the dental industry for many years now; brushing the teeth is a critical part of a person’s routine for many reasons, and many discussions can be had about the superior quality of one toothbrush, or mouthwash, over another, but the two key things are to actually do it, and for the correct length of time.