Currently, the Oral Health Foundation is running their campaign, The Truth About Tooth Decay, to educate people on how best to take care of their teeth and keep tooth decay at bay.
Tooth decay is widespread in the UK with approximately 8 in 10 adults having decay in at least one tooth. And it’s not just adults; children are more at risk than ever with 1 in 5 now suffering from it. Shockingly, extractions of decayed teeth under general anaesthetic are the number one reason for hospitalisations of children between the ages of five and nine!
Know the signs
Advanced tooth decay is easy to spot, so here’s a quick reminder of what to look out for:
- Sensitivity to sweet things
- An unpleasant taste in the mouth
- Dark spots on the surface of the tooth
It’s best to catch tooth decay as early as possible, and as the early signs are normally only detectable when you go for a dental check-up or have an X-ray, it’s important to keep up with your regular dental appointments, as often as your dentist recommends.
Mild tooth decay can usually be cured with a filling, however more severe tooth decay can require root canal treatment, or in the worst-case scenario, you may need to have the affected tooth removed and replaced with an implant or bridge, which can cause quite a dent in your pocket.
There is also a proven link between poor oral health and physical health issues such as diabetes and heart disease, so tooth decay can have a negative effect on the whole body.
Prevention is far better (and cheaper) than a cure
Tooth decay is entirely preventable by maintaining a good oral health routine which includes brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes at a time. It’s really important to keep teeth clean and regularly clear away the plaque acids that, if left on the teeth, gradually dissolve away the surface enamel and then the dentine underneath.
Your risk of getting tooth decay is also connected to your diet. Consuming food and drink which are high in sugar, fat and acid increases the acid attacks on your teeth, so improving your diet can be another great step in avoiding poor oral health.
You can find out more Truths about Tooth Decay on the Oral Health Foundation’s website; there’s even a handy podcast that will provide you with a thorough run down of what tooth decay is and how to prevent it.
Also, please make sure you attend your regular check-ups and hygiene appointments here at Ringley Park. Our knowledgeable hygienists are the best people to advise you on how to look after your teeth.
Call us to book an appointment on 01737 240123.