Caring for Your Teeth & Gums Back

Tooth Decay

Plaque is an insidious substance, it is colourless, sticky film that blankets your teeth and creates an environment in which bacteria destroys the tooth enamel, causing gum irritation, infection in inner structures such pulp and the roots and in some severe cases, tooth loss.

Some of the biggest problems causing plaque are foods rich in sugar and carbohydrates, including soda beverages, some juices, candy and many kinds of pasta, breads and cereals. Plaque also attacks other fillings and restorations in your mouth which can lead to more costly treatment down the road.

Plaque is one of the biggest issues for tooth decay. It also causes gums to become irritated, inflamed and in some cases, bleed. Over time, the decay process may cause your gums to pull away from your teeth, a condition called receding gums. In addition, the long-term decay process can lead to infections in your gums and can eat away at the bone structures under the teeth.

Inside of a tooth, decay can gradually destroy the inner layer, or dentin, the pulp, which contains blood vessels, nerves and other tissues, but most importantly the root.

Periodontal disease is advanced gum disease. This serious condition occurs when the structures that support the teeth - the gums and bone, break down from the infection. Some of the signs of periodontal disease are pain, hypersensitivity and bleeding.

Preventative Measures

The two greatest methods of defense against tooth decay and gum disease are a healthy, well-balanced diet and good oral hygiene, including daily brushing with fluoride toothpaste, flossing and rinsing. Most public drinking water contains fluoride, but if you are unsure of your water supply, then use a quality mouth rinse containing fluoride.

A great way to help your oral health between brushing is chewing sugarless gum; this stimulates your body's production of saliva, a powerful chemical that actually neutralizes plaque formation and rinses decay-causing food particles and debris from your mouth.