Why Prevent Decay?
Decay & related common oral
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Dental Decay is also known as dental caries, holes or cavities. If teeth are not cleaned effectively, a slimy layer of germs build and grow on the teeth, this is called plaque or recently referred to as “Biofilm”.
- When foods and drinks that contain sugar are consumed, the germs use this sugar to make acids
- The acids dissolve the minerals from the teeth, and make them weak
- This is how holes can grow over time
- If left untreated, it will result in continuous breakdown of tooth structure, and may lead to infection or death of a tooth
Top Causes of Decay
Ineffective Oral Hygiene Behaviours
- Not brushing or flossing
- Incorrect brushing technique
- Incorrect and damaging flossing technique
- Brushing and flossing for a short period (under 2 minutes)
- Can be caused by medications
- Dehydration – not having enough water
- Mouth breathing
- Sugary, fizzy and sports drinks
- Sweets and sugary snacks
- Diet lacking in natural teeth building, mineral rich foods
Not consuming Fluoridated water
- Drinking only filtered / bottled water
Gum and jaw
Factors that worsen the effects of gum and bone diseases include:
- Smokers are 2-7 times more likely to develop periodontitis than non-smokers, due to a dulled immune response and less oxygen in the mouth.
- Diabetes exacerbates periodontal disease. If a person’s blood sugar level is poorly controlled, a greater infection, poor healing, and a greater loss of bone and connective tissues are likely.
- Stress increases certain hormones that make a person more susceptible to infection.
- Puberty, pregnancy and birth control pills can also increase certain hormones that exaggerate the effects of the bacteria.
- Individuals who are immunocompromised have difficulty fighting off the infection.
- Steroids, anti-seizure medicines, cancer medicines, and blood pressure medicines can all affect the gums.
- Some prescription drugs decrease the flow of saliva, irritating the mouth and drying out the oral tissues thus making it more prone to infection.
- This is a common gum disease caused by bacteria in plaque – a sticky film of food, saliva and germs that forms on the teeth
- If plaque is not removed properly, it sits around the teeth, and the bacteria in it irritate the gums so that they become inflamed
- Therefore, the major symptom of gingivitis is inflamed (red) gums that bleed, especially when brushing, the gums may also be sore
- Continued presence of plaque and inflammation may result in destruction of the gum and bone that supports the teeth
- Often gums shrink back, and teeth may move or become mobile
- Usually not painful and often goes unnoticed