Keeping your teeth strong and healthy is important for not only your dental health but also your general health, with many links between the two. Weakened teeth can lead to an array of outcomes, including dental decay (cavities), enamel erosion, tooth sensitivity, and many more.
Dental decay is the most common outcome of weakened tooth structure, and is a result of plaque interactions with your tooth. These complex interactions eventually lead to mineral loss from your tooth and the subsequent development of a hole. Dental plaque is the furry substance that develops on your teeth after meals and the bacteria, fuelled by dietary sugars, within this plaque are what cause the hole.
Another common consequence of weakened teeth is enamel erosion. This is the result of prolonged acid wear to the teeth. Acidic foods and drinks are most often the culprit of erosion, which is a complex condition to treat. If allowed to progress, enamel erosion can cause significant sensitivity and discomfort.
For a beautiful, healthy, pain-free smile, there are a few steps you can follow.
Keeping dental plaque at bay is very important to maintain healthy teeth. Plaque, which accumulates quickly after meals, needs to be removed regularly in order to prevent the plaque bacteria from damaging your teeth. If the plaque is not disrupted through oral hygiene practices, minerals are leached from the enamel, which will eventually lead to a cavity.
For these reasons, we strongly encouraged you to thoroughly brush your teeth twice daily and to floss once daily. These practices will remove the plaque from your teeth before they can be weakened.
Of all minerals, fluoride is arguably the most important in terms of re-strengthening your enamel. When the mouth is exposed to fluoride, your enamel absorbs the mineral to replenish those that were lost throughout the day. But fluoride doesn’t just replenish weakened enamel; it also provides further protection against future mineral loss. Because of this, brushing twice daily with fluoridated toothpaste is important. If you are at an increase risk of enamel wear or mineral loss, your dental professional may suggest that you use additional products to provide more minerals to your teeth; these may include topical creams and mouth rinses.
The strength of your teeth is directly related to the foods and drinks you consume. From a decay perspective, sugary products are the fundamental cause. The bacteria within dental plaque thrive on sugar, acting as its major food source, so the more sugar that you consume increases the risk of a cavity forming. When the bacteria metabolize these sugars, important minerals (which give your tooth strength) are dissolved from your tooth. To reduce your risk of dental decay, not only is it important to ensure you are practicing good oral hygiene practices and using fluoride products, you will also need to reduce the consumption of sugar.
Citric and acidic foods and drinks can also be detrimental to your dental health. These products can irreversibly wear away your enamel, causing dental erosion and associated sensitivity.
If you are concerned about weakened teeth, are suspicious that you may have a cavity, or are experiencing sensitivity, it is very important that you come to visit us at Smile Solutions. A thorough assessment will allow us to determine the cause of your weakened tooth, and we can work with you to treat it and prevent it from recurring in the future.