Tooth Decay: How Sugar Destroys your Smile
By: Arlene Gentallan
Would you prefer a perfect pearly white smile or a bunch of sugary treats? While we indulge ourselves will sugary treats, it's also worth knowing how it's affecting our precious teeth, and what we can do to win the battle against tooth decay.
Remember when you were told that eating too much candy can destroy your teeth? Turns out there's a science behind this.
Let's begin by counting how many bacteria there are inside your mouth...
You may not notice but your mouth contains plenty of tiny inhabitants depending on the foods you eat in order to survive. There are over 700 different strains of bacteria identified.
Usually, a mouth contains up to several billions of bacteria. Estimates show that a typical mouth contains such an astounding population of bacteria that it's number surpass the number of human population on Earth.
That's an enormous population we have inside of us!
The science behind sweets and tooth decay
At any given times, estimates shows that there are about 100 different kinds of species residing inside our mouth. The most notorious is Streptococcus mutans which is the main culprit of tooth decay. These bacteria feed on the sugar and starches in your mouth. So when you begin indulging on those sweet treats, you're not alone. There are billions of bacteria joining in the party. The destructive part is they produce acids.
Acids dissolve the outer covering of your tooth called "enamel." Did you know that enamel is the hardest thing in a human body? It's harder than your bones! It just make a whole lot of sense that we bite with the hardest tool we have, aye? And we go to the dentist because there's a hole in it.
When acids erode your enamel to form hole and bacteria reach the soft part of your tooth "dentin" and cause your teeth to decay which produces pain. Tooth decay is also popularly called "cavities" or "dental caries"
Plaques and Tartar
Plaque is a film material made up of food particles, bacteria and salivary secretion that builds up on your tooth's enamel and gum line. Plaques can harden to form tartar which can have a devastating effect to your teeth since it's resistant to brushing. The bacteria inside the tartar will continually produce acids to destroy your tooth's enamel. It's essential that you remove plaques and prevent them from becoming tartar by brushing your teeth regularly.
Bacteria inside your mouth can also lead to other dental problems like gingivitis (inflammation of the gums) and periodontal disease, and heart problem. Why not try some tips to help you win the battle against tooth decay?
10 Quick Easy Simple Tips to Keep your Teeth Healthy
- Brush your teeth every single day of your life.
- Use mouthwash after you brush your teeth.
- Use a floss to remove food particles inbetween your teeth.
- Use fluoride containing toothpaste.
- Please don't use somebody else's toothbrush!
- do not brush your teeth right after you eat or drink something acidic like lemon or pickles. Acidity softens your tooth's enamel and if you scrub on it, you'll erode it more.
- Don't store your toothbrush in an enclosed moist place. That will support bacterial growth.
- It's best to expose your toothbrush in an open space to allow it to air dry.
- Replace your toothbrush every 3 months or sooner if the bristle are already worn out.
- Make it a habit to consult your dentist every 6 months to have a dental check-up.