Tooth decay

2017-05-18 06:01
Brush and floss every morning and night before bed to avoid decay. Photo: supplied

Brush and floss every morning and night before bed to avoid decay. Photo: supplied

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Advancements in medicine has directed healthcare to focus on preventative and restorative therapy.
Times are changing when it comes to oral health Management.
Dental practitioners focus treatment towards the salvation of natural tooth structure.
Tooth decay is the oldest and most common disease of the oral cavity.

A diet that is high in refined sugars results in the acidic breakdown of teeth.
Unfortunately, the modern lifestyle comes with poor dietary habits where fast foods have become a normality. It is a known fact that everything that we eat is broken down into a simple sugar known as glucose that our body tissues utilize for energy and function, the excess sugars are stored as glycogen (starch).
Once we consume refined sugars, which come in the form of chocolates,sweets, sweetmeats and cold drinks the pH in the mouth is reduced to an acidic level creating a conducive environment for tooth decay.

Tooth decay however, is not always symptomatic due to the layers that form our teeth of which there are three:

1. Enamel: strongest outer calcified layer free of nerve components

2. Dentine: softer inner layer of organic and inorganic tissue that contains nerve tissue

3. Pulp: nerve and vessel bundle

It is when the decay process has reached the dentine that one may experience pain upon sweet, cold and hot stimulus which if left untreated would reach the pulp resulting in continuous severe toothache.

Here are a few tips to reduce the risk of tooth decay:

1. Eat a well balanced diet

2. Drink plenty of water, at least 8 glasses of water a day

3. Rinse the mouth with water after meals

4. Avoid snacks after 9pm

5. Brush and floss every morning and night before bed

A healthy mouth renders a beautiful smile.

Call 032 533 6167 for an appointment today or visit the practice at 120 Wick Street, Verulam.

By Dr Sudhir Rathiram (B-Dent ther UKZN, BDS Medunsa)


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