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DENTAL CARIES AND EROSION AND HOW IT IS PREVENTED

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Oral health is a very important component of a person physical and psychological sense of well-being. Periodontal disease is the most common cause of tooth loss among adults. Periodontal disease is infections of the structures of the teeth and the tissues that surround and support the teeth. So who are these people that have a high possibility to have this kind of infection? Well, people who are older, black or Hispanic and current smokers have a high risk of having the periodontal disease. This infection can be connected to a variety of other systemic diseases such as cardiovascular, Diabetes Mellitus and rheumatoid disease. One of the periodontal diseases is dental plaque and caries or the tooth decay.

Tooth decay is a destructive process that takes place in the tooth that begins with the action of a certain bacteria in the mouth that produces acids that dissolves the enamel. The enamel is the first layer and the hardest substance in the body. Though it is the hardest it can still be broken down or that is what you call “dental erosion” because of several factors. The factors that contribute to the dental erosion include the diet and nutrition, genetic predisposition and of course, how well the mouth is taken care of and how it is maintained. In most cases, dental or tooth decay occurs in an area that is hard to clean and begins with a small hole. If this case is left unchecked, the decay will extend into the dentin, the second layer of the tooth. And because this dentin is not as hard as the enamel, the decay might progress rapidly into the pulp of the tooth— the third and final layer of the tooth. Dentists can already determine the extent of the damage and the type of treatment that is needed. The treatment of dental caries includes fillings, dental implants, or extraction.

To prevent and control this dental caries, one should practice and maintain effective mouth care, applying fluoride to the teeth or might as well drink fluoridated water, refrain from smoking, control diabetes and have a regular visit with the dentist to prevent one from having dental carries and have dental maintenance. Healthy teeth must be effectively cleaned on a daily basis. Brushing and flossing are particularly effective in breaking up bacterial plaque in the teeth. Diet and nutrition must also be taken care of to prevent this periodontal disease. Dental caries may be prevented by decreasing amount of sugar and starch in the diet; it is encouraged to have less cariogenic snacks such as fruits, vegetables, nuts or plain yogurt. Last is fluoridation. The use of fluoride especially in brushing the teeth and fluoridated mouthwash is one of the most effective ways to prevent dental plaques and caries. There are also public water supplies that are fluoridated and has been found to decrease dental caries. This can also be achieved by having the dentist apply a gel or solution to the teeth. Oral care must have its attention that it needs just like any other systemic problems; besides it is connected to a variety of other diseases after all.

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