Failure to clean your teeth causes tooth decay. Failure to see a dentist allows that tooth decay to worsen. The result? Tooth loss, serious infection and in some cases even death!
Good oral hygiene is something that should be ingrained in all of us from a very young age but year upon year all across the developing and developed world, millions of people are not brushing and flossing their teeth and are therefore standing by while the resulting tooth decay starts to rot their teeth from the outside. What is more, a lot of these people who so desperately need to see a dentist to remedy their tooth decay, often choose not to see a dentist. This means that their tooth decay is allowed to continue to such a level that they often show up at an emergency dentist with very little healthy teeth left. All of this could be so easily remedied by brushing their teeth and seeing a dentist twice a year.
So what exactly is tooth decay? Tooth decay is effectively the result of food not being brushed from the teeth properly or at all, allowing bacteria commonly found in the human mouth to consume that un-brushed food and produce damaging acidic by-products such as plaque. This thick sticky plaque then eats into the tooth’s surface enamel, unless of course it is removed from the tooth via brushing and flossing. Over time this acidic plaque begins to create cavities, or holes, into the surface enamel of the tooth. These cavities then allow more bacteria and more plaque to be created deeper and deeper into the structure of the tooth.
Once the enamel is eroded away, the bacteria, the plaque and the acidic by-products get to work on eating into the tooth’s softer layer, the dentin, often with disastrous effects. Once the dentin has been compromised, the tooth has effectively suffered significantly damaging decay which can lead to infection of the pulp of the tooth and painful abscesses at the root of the tooth which can in turn lead to bone loss in the jaw, blood poisoning and in rare cases fatalities.
Clearly tooth decay is not something that should be seen as a minor affliction. It can cause a variety of secondary symptoms, illnesses and diseases that can have serious consequences to an individual’s physical and mental health. That is why practicing good oral hygiene is so important to fight against tooth decay as is seeing a dentist regularly for checkups who can spot and treat tooth decay early before drastic treatments and remedies are required like killing a tooth via root canal and even tooth extraction.
While many dread visiting the dentist, or indeed paying to see the dentist, regularly visiting a dentist is one of the best ways of combating tooth decay. A dentist can advise you on whether you are cleaning your teeth correctly which is often one of the main causes of keeping plaque on the teeth between brushing sessions, thus leading to the formation of cavities in the first place. A dentist can also check to see the general health of your teeth and gums and can spot things like the onset of cancers, canker sores or even ulcers which can also indicate too much bacteria in your mouth. A dentist can also help remedy a poor bite or other abnormalities like a partially erupted wisdom tooth, which can cause problems in terms of a build up of plaque in the mouth and then the development of tooth decay. So it is well worth visiting a dentist as part of practicing good oral hygiene.
Cleaning your teeth, seeing a dentist regularly and eating a tooth healthy diet low in sugary foods, is an excellent way of preventing tooth decay from getting a vice grip over your teeth because here is the thing…tooth decay is preventable. The more people realize that their teeth are not just bony stumps but are actually living parts of their body, the more they should recognize the need to look after them as they would any other part of their body.
All you have to do is brush twice a day and see the dentist from time to time. A small price to pay to keep tooth decay away.