Although most of us are aware of the primary practices that can prevent tooth decay, there are some interesting bits of information most of us may have missed. WebMD outlines a few such facts in detail. They include things like where our natural defense against tooth decay comes from, how consuming sugar many times a day (and not just in large quantities) can be detrimental to the health of our teeth, and the relationship between teeth and overall health.
Your strongest oral defense comes from a place you may not anticipate. Saliva is a natural disinfectant and cavity fighter, according to dentist Kimberly Harms. Our teeth decay due to being consumed by bacteria that feed on sugar. These bacteria often referred to as plaque; sometimes stick to your teeth, where they produce acid that can destroy the enamel. Believe it or not, saliva aids in rinsing out your mouth and neutralizing that destructive process.
That’s why dry mouth can be a problem for oral health. If you don’t have an adequate amount of saliva you have a lessened ability to counter the negative effects of sugar, and less of a buffer there to begin with. Those who take certain medications may be at exceptional risk, as dry mouth is a common side effect of many prescription drugs. A possible way to remedy this situation is to have breath mints with you at all times and to drink plenty of water.
Frequent snacking and consumption of sugary drinks can be a detriment to oral health. This one is no secret. But something most people seldom consider is how many times a day they indulge. Because the acids produced by bacteria who feed on sugar are what wreck your teeth, the more often they ingest sugar, the more acid they produce. That means that as far as oral health is concerned, several large meals per day are safer than many smaller ones (although if you’re trying to lose weight, this information may conflict with your overall diet).
Did you know that one out of every seven adults ages 35 to 44 has gum disease? For individuals over the age of 65, the rate is even higher – one out of every four.
That’s alarming because while it may sound difficult to believe, tooth decay and other mouth-related infections have been associated with things like heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. People with gum disease even have an increased chance of giving birth to premature or underweight babies.
Apparently, the bacteria and inflammation that arises in the body as a result of fighting those bacteria can somehow impact other areas of the body. The full details about how this entire system works have yet to be discovered by doctors. But it has been established that some kind of link does exist.
For a respected and competent dentist that you can trust, contact our office today.