Has a summer in the sun left its mark on your teeth? Apparently nearly a third of us prefer to go on a beach holiday as opposed to any other type of break, and while it’s fun it can bring about a whole raft of oral health problems. The warmer summer months may mean that many of us eat more salads and other healthy and tooth friendly foods, but we’re also more likely to eat sugary and acidic foods.
Ice cream is a popular treat, and while it may contain milk, it’s also likely to be high in sugar and other sticky goodies such as chocolate. Sugary, fizzy drinks are another popular choice for keeping cool but they can lead to tooth decay. Whenever you consume these kinds of foods they tend to stick to your teeth, allowing the plaque bacteria that are present in everyone’s mouth to get to work enjoying these leftovers. The energy they gain from the sugars allows them to thrive and multiply, and they also produce quite strong acid that will attack and weaken your tooth enamel.
Eventually the acid will erode away your tooth enamel, causing tiny pits or lesions. If you visit Dr Rik Trivedi or any of the other dentists in Kent then these early signs can be picked up and treated if necessary. Some tooth lesions will be able to be treated with fluoride applications, but only if they caught very early on. Otherwise you run the risk of the tooth requiring a filling. But what happens if you leave the decay to progress?
Effects of Long-Term Tooth Decay
If your tooth decay is not caught early enough then it will begin to eat away at the dentine layer which is just underneath the tooth enamel. This is a much softer substance and is much more easily eroded. By this stage you might notice your teeth feel more sensitive when you eat or drink something hot or cold, and the reason for this is that the dentine contains lots of tiny tubules that leads directly to the pulp or the nerves of the tooth right in the centre. Allow things to progress even further, and it’s likely that the bacteria causing your decay will be able to infect the pulp. By this stage you’re likely to be experiencing quite a lot of pain, and will require a root canal treatment to save the tooth. If you choose not to, then your tooth may need extracting, and you might be looking at dental implants in Kent to replace it.
If you’re overdue for a check-up why not give our dental surgery a ring to book an appointment right now? You can contact us on 01474 537191, or alternatively you can fill in our enquiry form on our website at www.parrockdental.co.ukto request a call back.