dental clinic

What is tooth decay and how can we prevent it?

Tooth decay is damage that occurs to our teeth. It is caused by germs and bacteria that produce an acid which eats away at our teeth. There are three layers to every tooth, the hard outer layer is called the enamel, the middle layer- dentin and the center is called the pulp. The more layers that are affected, the worse the pain can be with the most pain experienced at the pulp, which contains nerves and blood vessels.

Every day, a substance called plaque is formed on our teeth. Plaque is a sticky form of bacteria that feed on the sugars in the foods we eat. As the bacteria feeds, an acid is produced and prolonged exposure to this acid causes the enamel to rot causing cavities. Tooth decay should never be ignored as it can be very painful and sometimes lead to tooth loss.

The best cure when it comes to tooth decay is prevention. One of the first and foremost ways of preventing tooth decay is by practicing proper oral hygiene. Brush your teeth regularly, if not after every meal at least twice a day for two minutes at a time. Make sure you floss and clean between the teeth and under the gum line. Use a toothpaste that has fluoride in it and avoid rinsing right after brushing as this will strip away the fluoride coating on the teeth.

Regular visits to the dentist will also prevent tooth decay. Don’t wait for a problem to visit a dental clinic. Go for regular teeth cleanings and check ups so that your dentist can determine if there are early signs of tooth decay.

There are several factors that put you at risk for tooth decay.

  1. The location of the tooth plays an important role. Most decay occurs with the molars and the pre molars at the back of the mouth as these are the hardest to clean. Bacteria often thrives as these teeth often have grooves where food particles remain.
  2. Excessive consumption of sugar causes tooth decay. Bacteria feed on sugars, which is why it is so important to brush or rinse after eating sweets.
  3. Smokers have a higher risk of contracting tooth decay.
  4. Lack of fluoride causes tooth decay so make sure your toothpaste contains fluoride.
  5. Smokers are a higher risk as nicotine causes bacteria.
  6. People who have eating disorders like anorexia or bulimia are at a higher risk. Constantly vomiting brings up acids from the stomach, which in turn cause damage to the teeth.
  7. Certain highly addictive drugs like heroin and methamphetamine cause tooth decay.
  8. The biggest culprit when it comes to tooth decay is the frequent sipping of sugary drinks. Avoid sodas and colas during the day and stick to water.
  9. Heartburn causes stomach acids to come into the mouth which can cause tooth decay.
  10. Old fillings can put you at risk so make sure you visit your dentist regularly.

Latest technologies that we use to improve your smile.
You would be surprised at the number of people that are self conscious about their smile, often wishing there was something they could do to close a small gap, or make their teeth a little whiter. Modern technology has provided many alternatives that will distinctly improve your pearly whites and make you want to flash them at every opportunity,

Teeth Whitening
Teeth whitening treatments are immensely popular and are offered at every dental clinic. They can be done in office, or even at home. ZOOM in office teeth whitening is usually done in one visit- after a protective lotion is applied to the gums, whitening gel is applied to the teeth. A special light is then applied which activates the gel. Each session lasts about fifteen minutes and upto four sessions can be conducted at a time. For teeth whitening at home individual trays are prepared based on client’s specific needs.

Dental veneers or porcelain veneers are paper thin covers that are made to fit on teeth. They are used for people who have chipped teeth, gaps within the teeth, or discoloured teeth and work by effective changing the shape, size and colour of the tooth. Dental veneers are a great way of improving your smile and if properly done they will look like you were simply born with that great smile.

Crowns are tooth shaped caps that are fitted on to teeth. They are mainly cosmetic and can be made from a variety of materials, such as porcelain, stainless steel, ceramics, resins, and of course all metals, including gold.

Dental Implants
Though a long term procedure, there is scarcely a better way of replacing a missing tooth than by inserting a dental implant. Dental implants are artificial roots that are inserted into the jaw. Replacement teeth are then attached after the bone heals around the implant. A missing tooth can really put a crimp on a smile, so if you’ve lost one, this is the procedure you need to consider.

Invisible Braces
One of the greatest drawbacks when people consider braces is having to walk around with a mouthful of metal for two years. Advances in technology however, have created new and improved ways of wearing braces which are not immediately visible to an untrained eye. Some invisible braces are like transparent retainers that fit over the teeth while others fit behind the teeth. Whichever option you use, you can be sure that no one will ever know your little secret.