It is estimated that 95% of adult Poles are affected by dental caries. Over a half of young children have dental caries diagnosed, and every second 18-year-old has some missing teeth. Check where dental caries originates and how to fight it.
Not only sweets
Dental caries is caused by sugars-decomposing bacteria producing organic acids and tolerating acidic environment. They stick to the surface of teeth building yellow deposit called the dental plaque.
The most common reasons of dental caries include:
- microorganisms in dental plaque – visit your dental practice once every six months (or, if you drink lots of coffee and tea or smoke, once every 3 months) and undergo professional hygienist treatment.
- improper diet – snacking of sweets, which contain a large amount of carbohydrates, promotes the development of dental caries. This is why after sweet snacks brush your teeth thoroughly. If this is not possible, rinse your mouth with water or reach for a sugar-free chewing gum. Please remember that improper diet will not provide necessary nutrients to your body, will affect the enamel and promote the development of dental caries.
- enamel sensitivity to decalcification – some people, in spite of taking a lot of care of their teeth, constantly struggle with dental caries while others, who do not take so much care, enjoy healthy teeth. This is genetically determined – the enamel of some people is simply more durable.
- bad habits – we often brush our teeth too quickly and sloppily. It does not help us to fight dental caries. Teeth should be brushed with fluoride toothpaste for two minutes, using the roll movement (rotating and sweeping out). Next the dental floss should be used and then mouthwash, which helps to fight bacteria and keep the proper pH level.
A drill to the rescue
Dental caries is treated by the filling of cavities preceded by drilling. A dental professional removes the decayed part of the tooth with a special drill. After the tooth tissues have been removed, the dental restoration is placed. The filling is practically invisible as its colour is close to the natural colour of the enamel and may last for many years.
If the bacteria have migrated to the inside of the tooth, it will start aching and become sensitive to temperature changes. If we defer the appointment at the dentist, dental caries enters into the pulp and this process cannot be reversed. The removal of pulp i.e. root canal therapy is then required. The dentist removes the entire pulp filling the tooth with dental paste and places the restoration. The tooth is preserved yet it remains dead, making it more susceptible to breaking or chipping. In some of the cases successful treatment is not possible and the tooth must be removed. Missing teeth should be replaced with implants as quickly as possible.
Our doctors and dental hygienists teach the proper care of teeth, and the use of an intraoral camera during a follow-up appointment allows the patient to thoroughly visualise the essence of the problem.