Dental caries / decay, is a common disease, which causes cavities and discoloration of both permanent and “baby” teeth. Progression will lead to a tooth becoming weaker, possibly breaking and may also damage the nerve.
Sugary foods can be broken down into an acid which eats (demineralisation) into the tooth, forming a hole which allows bacteria into the tooth. Acidic foods can also do the same.
Decay can be prevented by maintaining a good balanced diet, a good cleaning routine with fluoridated toothpastes.
Saliva is the best natural defense against decay. The acid from bacteria can be neutralised by saliva. Reduced saliva flow (dry mouth) can increase your risk of decay. Saliva helps replace minerals back on the tooth surface to strengthen it against acid attacks. If the rate of demineralisation is greater than remineralisation the result is decay.
Some causes of reduced saliva flow:
Please see us at Rawson Dentist if you suffer from dry mouth.
Very early dental caries is actually reversible. Dr Le can treat early areas of caries with topical fluoride, and with regular cleaning with fluoride toothpastes, a good diet, no other treatment may be required.
More advanced dental caries will require a “filling”. The damaged and infected soft tooth structure will need to be cleaned out and replaced with a filling to repair the tooth. Early intervention is important to preserve the strength of the tooth and prevent bacteria damaging the tooth pulp/nerve.
The best way to prevent and treat dental caries is by decreasing how often you have sugar in your food and drinks
How often sugar in food/drinks is consumed is far more important than how much sugar is taken.
Prevention of dental caries through diet include: