What is tooth decay? Tooth decay is a bacterial infection, it occurs when bacteria in your mouth eat away at a tooth. This then leads to the formation of holes in the tooth, called cavity. Tooth decay can be very painful; it can cause secondary infections and can lead to tooth loss.
Biting into your favorite candy and savoring the inherent sweet taste may make you feel guilty at the last bite. 92% of adults between the ages of 20 to 64 have been reported to have cavities in their permanent teeth according to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research’s (NIDCR) National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.
Medical treatment for tooth cavity is usually costly without medical insurance; this has forced many sufferers to leave their cavities untreated.
Moderate consumption of candies will likely not make you book an appointment with the dentist; not taking care of tooth decay can win you a permanent costly visit to the dentist for a lifetime.
How Cavity is formed
Excessive consumption of sweets, sugary drinks, and, the poor dental hygiene can lead to tooth decay. When the enamel of the tooth (the outer, hard layer of your teeth) is damaged as a result of plaque, cavities begin to develop.
This plaque continues to grow on the enamel and stimulates the production of acids, these acids are generated by the sweets, sugary drinks and foods you consume, this will create a small hole in your tooth.
Can tooth decay make you sick?
Yes, tooth decay can make you sick; it can lead to infection in some other part of your body. Tooth decay leads to cavities, cavities cause infections. Any opening on your teeth can be an entry point for bacteria in your body if left untreated; the decay can result in the formation of an abscess which has flu-like symptoms.
Furthermore, you can lose your teeth treating tooth decay, treatment may include metal fillings, but if the damaged tooth is bad, it might be removed by the dentist. This will cause you lot of pains and inconveniences, it will negatively affect your smile and your ability to chew food. You might want to take your dental health serious!
Can you die from tooth decay?
Yes sadly! You can die from tooth decay if not treated. Although this happens only in extreme conditions where the infection from the decay may spread to the sinus located behind the eyes, the infection may further travel to the brain from the sinus and cause death. Take your dental health serious!
Natural foods to prevent tooth decay
An apple a day keeps the dentist away! You can prevent teeth decay by eating an apple in a day. Fresh fruits are acidic and have high sugar levels, they help stimulate saliva flow, and this flow helps reduce cavities by lowering the bacteria levels.
Gulping sugary drinks after consuming high sugar treats can weaken your dental health. Drinks whose sugar levels are at minimal levels can wear down your tooth enamels because of its high acid levels. To prevent this, ensure you make use of straws to prevent the acidity contained in the drink from getting on your teeth.
Cheese has been reported to have characteristics which maintain good dental health by preventing cavity formation.
In the Journal of General Dentistry, a study was carried out on 68 participants to examine their dental plaque before and after they consuming paraffin (control), sugar-free yogurt, milk, and cheese.
A significant change in ph was reported after the dairy products were consumed; it was recorded that cheese has the highest plaque pH in comparison to milk and yogurt after 30 minutes of consumption.
They suggested that cheese possesses anti-cavity characteristics because of the high ph levels, this triggers an increase in calcium and saliva formation which reharden enamel.
The chief culprit in the formation of cavities is the regular gum; chewing sugar-free gum fortified with xylitol helps prevent plaque buildup.
Xylitol is a natural sweetener; it is an additive which helps fight bacteria implicated in cavity formation thereby reducing tooth decay.
In a study published in the Journal of Dental Education, it was reported that sugar substitutes can help prevent cavities.
The study further stated that there was a 30% to 60% reduction in tooth decay across the study when compared to the control. Sorbitol and Xylitol were used as sugar replacements, Xylitol accounted for the highest cavity reduction in the study.
Milk can increase Ph levels lost while consuming sugary drinks and foods. This was reported in the journal of the American Dental Association, in which researchers studied the effects of whole milk, apple juice, or tap water on twenty participants after consuming Froot Loops cereal.
The participants were to stay away from brushing their teeth for 24hours so as to allow for the formation of plaque on their tooth enamel, to test their theory effectively.
This study showed that milk strengthens the participant’s teeth at the same time weaken acidic levels after cereal consumption.
Green Tea and Black Tea
A study in Kenyon college reported that drinking black tea or green tea after consuming sugary foods can help reduce cavities by preventing the buildup of plaque thereby inhibiting the growth of bacteria.
Camilla sinensis a major component of the tea has been identified to preventing tooth decay due to its anti-cavity properties. Ensure you drink your tea without sweeteners, cream or milk.
People who love taking alcoholic beverage will be glad to know that a jar of wine after consuming a box full of chocolate can help fight bacteria that upholds cavities.
The essential components found exclusively in red wine, known as proanthocyanidins, have been observed to have antioxidants which supports good dental health, as reported by Discovery.com