What are Dental Caries? How are these affected by sugar?

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What are Dental Caries?
 

Dental caries, also known as dental cavity or tooth decay is a major health issue worldwide affecting us at any stage of life. It refers to both the diseases and the damage caused by the disease.

Dental caries lead to decay and softening of the enamel, the protective shiny outer layer overtime  and the end result is a cavity-- a defect or hole left in the tooth.

 

How are they affected by sugar?

 

Sugar and other carbohydrates that are easily fermentable pose a high threat to the initiation and the progression of the disease. A greater frequency of sugar consumption is directly proportional to the higher cases of dental caries. Free sugars are now found in almost all food products.

 

Plaque in the tooth develops when food containing carbohydrates mainly sugars such as sweets, chocolates, candy, milk etc are frequently left to decay on the teeth. Bacteria within the plaque usually thrive on these sugary foods, use them as energy and produce acids as a waste product. And gradually, these acids dissolve the tooth enamel which results in tooth decay or dental caries.

 

Other possible causes?
 

3MEDS, the best online pharmacy in Delhi brings about the other possible causes of dental caries -

  • Lack of proper tooth brushing leading to plaque formation.
  • Snacking and sipping in between meals. With more consumed sugar, more acid is formed by plaque bacteria leading to decay of tooth enamel.
  • Not getting enough fluoride from tooth pastes or supplements to protect the enamel.
  • Saliva helps counter the acid produced by the bacteria. Reduced saliva flow increases the risk of tooth decay.
  • Acid reflux or GERD leads to flowing of acid stomach to the mouth and exposing more of the dentin to risk.
  • Worn out dental fillings allow plaque to build up easily and let decay to begin underneath.

 

Who is at most risk?
 

Decaying of teeth is one of the most common types of dental condition found among people, in almost all ages. It keeps on progressing with age and the consequences are lifelong.

Children who have become accustomed to sugar consumption at a very early age are the ones who are at risk.

Moreover, people who consume sticky food on a regular basis or between meals and do not get their teeth brushed properly develop dental caries at a faster rate.

 

According to a recent study by WHO, there is an urgent need for a reduction in daily sugar intake to 5% of our total energy intake.

 

This is nearly same as 

30 gm (7 teaspoons) of sugar per day for an adult

24gm of sugar for children of ages 5 to 10

19gm of sugar for children of ages 2-4

 

But the current sugar intake

in children of ages 2-4 is 11.9%,

of children aging between 5-10 is 14.7%

and in teens of ages 11-18 is almost 18%,

which is far more than the 5% requirement.

 

 

What are the possible treatments?

Certain measures that need to be taken to prevent dental caries are -

 

Healthy eating :
Of all the factors contributing to the growth of dental caries, diet plays a pivotal  role.

Hence it is very important to follow a healthy diet by limiting sticky and sugary foods and drinks that feed those bacteria in our mouth.Also it's important to eat sugary food only with the meals and not within.

 

Frequent Brushing :

It's necessary to brush at least two times a day, after meals or before going to bed to clean food particles and plaque from teeth. Also remember to change the toothbrush, every three months. Newer the bristles, the more plaque the brush will be able to remove.

 

Toothpaste and supplements with fluoride :

One of the most common ways to prevent the loss of  minerals from the tooth, that is demineralization and help in the process of remineralization is to use a toothpaste that contains fluoride. Fluoride helps to prevent dental caries by speeding up the process of remineralization and as a result stops the bacterial attack. The new enamel formed is more resistant to bacterial attack. Adding a fluoride rinse to the daily oral care can help prevent tooth decay.

 

Regular Flossing :

Flossing should be done regularly to help eradicate accumulated food particles and plaque from the spaces between the teeth beyond the reach of toothbrushes. This helps in preventing tooth decay and maintaining good oral hygiene.

To buy mouthwash, flosser, fluoride toothpastes and other health care products, visit the best online medicine delivery app in India

 

Schedule Checkups :
 

It's important to schedule regular visits to the dental professional, every five to six months to have a routine cleaning and exam.

 

Tooth filling :
 

If the tooth decay has already progressed beyond the process of natural remedies and created big enough cavities, the only effective way to treat is to get filling. Made with an amalgam of material, fillings help to restore the shape of the tooth. It's important to be cautious after getting a filling as weak or rough filling makes plaque removal difficult.

 

Adequate Hydration :
 

8-10 glasses of water a day is considered ideal in terms of keeping our body as well as our teeth healthy and germfree. After consumption of  any sugary or sticky food or drink, it's good to gulp water down to wash the leftover particles and prevent bacterial growth.

 

 

The Bottom Line-

 

If the cavities formed are left unattended and untreated, they can eventually spread into deeper layers of the teeth leading to frequent pain and possible tooth loss. Hence it's very important to take good care of oral and dental hygiene by following certain measures on a regular basis.

 

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