Smile With Confidence With Proper Oral Care

A mouth that looks and smells healthy is a mouth that has benefited from good oral hygiene practices. A healthy mouth is a mouth where the gum tissue is pink and does not bleed or hurt when flossing and brushing. The teeth are clean and free of debris and there is not constant bad breath. Any of these conditions may indicate a serious problem making it essential to see a dentist. Maintaining good oral hygiene is important to avoiding or minimizing the risk of developing serious oral heath problems. Healthy teeth and gums help you to feel confident and look good and it enables you to speak and eat properly. As well, good oral health is important to your overall health and well-being.

To understand what happens when you do not implement good oral hygiene practices, it is important to understand what is in your mouth. The inside of your mouth and its structures are always covered in saliva. Saliva keeps teeth and the other structures moist and washes away debris. Saliva protects against some viruses and bacteria and it also contains minerals that strengthen teeth and buffering agents which reduce acidic levels that can cause tooth decay.

Plaque Accumulation

Plaque grows when bacteria attach to the tooth and begin to proliferate. Plaque is a soft substance that consists of colonies of bacteria, mycoplasmas, protozoa, viruses, and yeasts that are all clumped together in a soft mass. There are also other substances that are mixed in with the plaque such as tissue, bacteria byproducts, and food debris. When it comes to tooth decay, Streptococcus mutans and Lactobacilli are the bacteria that cause the most damage to teeth. After teeth are cleaned, plaque instantly starts to form. Over time, the plaque accumulates and thickens.

If not regularly cleaned and flossed as well as visiting the dentist for thorough cleanings, plaque will absorb minerals from saliva. These minerals form crystals and harden the plaque into a substance called calculus. New plaque forms on top of the calculus and it hardens. The bacteria in your mouth need food to subsist and proliferate. When you eat food high in sugars and other carbohydrates which break down into simple sugars, the bacteria use them as food. The bacteria produce acids that can dissolve tooth enamel. These acids begin to dissolve the mineral crystals in teeth which can lead to tooth decay.

Tooth Decay Process

There is a process to tooth decay. First, the acid starts to dissolve phosphate and calcium crystals within a tooth. Loss of minerals begins under the enamel’s surface.  Areas on the tooth enamel can weaken and a white spot can appear. Once the decay penetrates the enamel to cause a cavity, the damage is lasting. If not treated by a dentist, the decay will get worse, and it can destroy a tooth down through the enamel, to the within the dentin layer, and then down to the tooth’s nerve or pulp.

Adults can develop receding gums caused by periodontal disease or brushing the teeth too hard. They also are more likely to have dry mouth which means there is less saliva and less protection for the teeth. This increases the risk of tooth decay. Decay can become worse if proper oral health care measures are not taken and if one does not maintain regular visits to the dentist. A dentist must clean out the decay and fill the cavity.

To prevent tooth decay, it is important to visit the dentist for cleaning and dental exams. A dentist can advise you on the best ways to reduce the risks of dental decay. As well, to prevent your teeth from decaying, you can implement oral health practices that include: strengthen your teeth’s defenses with fluoride and sealants, brushing and flossing teeth every day as well as using mouthwash to reduce bacteria in your mouth, and reduce the amount of foods consumed that are known to contribute to tooth decay. Most importantly, visit your dentist regularly so he or she can detect and repair oral health problems early.

This post is brought to you on behalf of Dr. Carol Waldman. If you’re looking for reliable dentists Toronto, make sure to visit us. We offer tips and advice on how to maintain your oral health.

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