Dental tooth decay is a pandemic disease that has been ongoing for at least 300 years. Can it be stopped?
Isn’t it amazing that the disease of dental tooth decay has been recognized for several thousand years and is these days a pandemic disease? We have all heard the word pandemic in 2009 to describe swine flu (h1N1). It is a disease that shows no sign of abating let alone being cured. In today’s world it is a disease that seems to be increasing.
All the factors that are increasing the incidence of Type 2 Diabetes are also driving tooth decay. It costs us money and causes considerable misery from the very young to the elderly. And it keeps dentists working! Until tooth decay is under control, proceeding with any cosmetic dentistry may be futile. So what drives tooth decay and why after thousands of years is there no cure? Tooth decay is caused by bacteria that live in our mouths and LOVE acid. Many of the foods we eat and drink keep our mouths in an acid state. We do have good bacteria in our mouths, and they like the alkaline environment but they don’t get a chance to be in charge because the bad “bugs “rule.
Yes tooth decay is preventable. But it requires a bit of medicine to prevent tooth decay. Dentists tell our patients to brush and floss for a healthy mouth, but these actions are not enough to prevent cavities. The good news is even people who “always seem to have cavities” can be turned from high or extreme risk to low or even no risk. Dentistry can now provide a simple test that gives a measure of the bad bacteria we have. This test can be carried out in just a few minutes in the dental surgery from a scraping of plaque from the teeth. A program of special mouthwashes only available from dentists can then be prescribed to change the bacteria from the acid loving “bad bugs” to the alkaline loving “good bugs “. Also cutting down on foods that create acid in our mouth is very important.
Bad Bacteria is the cause of dental tooth decay. I explained that tooth decay is not the disease; it is the symptom of the disease. The disease is infectious bad Bacteria. These Bad Bugs get passed on from family member to family member. We all have both good bugs and bad bugs in our mouths. This is called a “Biofilm” and is a massive community of millions of bacteria.
It is like a city of good Guys and bad Guys and for many people, the bad guys are winning. We get ongoing tooth decay (Cavities) when the bad bugs take control. Fillings are only treating the symptoms of the disease and do not treat the disease.
The good news is that once the symptoms of the disease are treated (Cavities) then the cause of the disease can be treated (Bad Bugs). There is a lot of current research being carried out in this field and a group of researchers from America have developed a program of mouth washes to shift the balance from the bad Bacteria to the good Bacteria. These mouth rinses are only available at dental surgeries. We now assess patients’ risk factors. The risk groups are simply low, medium, high and extreme. The important factor for good on going dental health is regular dental visits.
Don’t put off your dental visit – regular check-ups save you money and needless pain. Visit The Dentists – mercury free dentists who use intra-oral cameras and digital x-rays so that you can become involved with your oral health.