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  • TinWai Ip

Dental Decay

Why does dental decay happen?

A tooth needs only 3 things for dental decay: bacteria, food, & time.

There are 1034673859402193874 bacteria in your mouth naturally, so there’s nothing you can do about it. Normally, these bacteria live harmoniously with you and each other in a perfect balance; however, once food is introduced, the dynamics change. The bacteria get the chance to gorge themselves on the food you’ve just eaten; execrating acid and immediately setting up colonies. The general pH of your mouth drops. Enamel and dentine starts demineralizing (breaking down) at pH of 5.5 and 6.5 respectively. This means that once dentine is exposed, it dissolves much easier than enamel. As this continues, unless the balance is restored, dental decay develops.



Can it really infect all the teeth?

No, dental decay or infection cannot spread to teeth beside them. But if the overall environment of your mouth is ideal for the bacteri the hole caused by the decay can start to trap food. This makes it difficult or painful to clean the tooth, and continues the cycle, decaying the tooth further and affecting the other teeth in the same way.


Prevention is cure.

1. Brush your teeth 2x daily with a toothbrush and a toothpaste with fluoride for at least 2 minutes

2. After brushing your teeth: Spit out the toothpaste but don’t rinse out with water

a. This leaves a thin layer of fluoride on your teeth as protection

3. Use an alcohol-free, fluoridated mouthwash between tooth brushing

a. ask your dental professional which mouthwash is right for you

4. Use floss or interdental brushes to clean between your teeth

References:


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