Tooth decay, what is it and how do I spot it?
We all have them, some more than others, they come in all different shapes and sizes but we rarely talk about their health. We only get one set to look after so it’s only right that we brush up our knowledge on our teeth. Having the right knowledge and using it will help prevent tooth decay and keep our teeth healthy and strong. There’s been a big movement in recent times for teeth whitening, the UK has become obsessed with whiter teeth. Spending money to get teeth whitened is becoming a social norm, but there’s more to healthy teeth than just a bright smile.
Tooth decay occurs when plaque builds up on the teeth this leads to tartar build up and eventually caries and gum disease. Plaque is a clear sticky substance which forms on the teeth naturally from bacteria. Saliva, food and the fluids we drink all lead to the growth of plaque and it appears on the surface of teeth and in the gaps between teeth and gums. If removed frequently your chances of developing tartar and further issues is reduced.
What are the signs of Tooth decay?
During the earlier stages of tooth decay there may not necessarily be any signs or symptoms, any changes can only be examined by a dentist examination or with an x-ray. If the tooth decay has developed then you may start to show some signs as follows:
- Toothache – without an obvious cause, such as an injury
- Brown, grey or dark spots on the teeth
- An unpleasant taste in the mouth
- Foul smelling breath
- Sensitive teeth – especially with hot/cold or sweet foods
If you are experiencing any of the above it’s probably a good idea to book in an appointment with your local Dentist. Tooth decay can be easily resolved if caught early enough, which is why it’s important to have regular check-ups with the dentist.
Tooth decay can be prevented with good oral hygiene, this includes brushing twice a day and flossing regularly to maintain healthy gums. Here at SimplyMeds we offer Fluoride toothpaste which helps to preserve the natural enamel on teeth, preventing further corrosion. This toothpaste is used twice a day instead of your normal toothpaste.
Fluoride is a mineral found naturally in the earth, it is also what helps make up your teeth. It’s used to help strengthen the natural enamel which is the outer shell of the teeth - the protection layer. Fluoride also helps prevent cavities, because of this property it’s added to our water supplies and toothpaste, you can find out more information on fluoride HERE.
We at SimplyMeds offer the same treatment that Dentists prescribe for patients who are at risk of or currently have tooth decay. Colgate Duraphat is a toothpaste which contains a higher level of fluoride to help build and maintain a strong and healthy enamel. Regular toothpaste contains between 1350-1500ppm (parts per million, the higher the number the stronger the content of fluoride) of fluoride. The toothpaste offered on our website is of high fluoride strength, coming in 2800ppm and 5000ppm. The treatment is used for 6 months after which you would book in to see your dentist to see how you have progressed. The dentist will let you know which of the two strengths is most suitable for your current condition. We have two versions on offer, the generic version and the branded Colgate Duraphat, each are equally effective but choice it down to personal preference.
By Birpal Virdee (March 2019)