Our teeth are coated with enamel, which is the hardest substance in the human body. However sugar, fizzy drinks, wine and other acidic foods can cause the enamel to dissolve causing caries or tooth decay.
Caries and Tooth Decay
Caries or tooth decay occur when there is demineralisation of the enamel. This allows erosion and disease to occur deeper in the tooth (dentine). Demineralisation occurs as a result of acid that is produced by bacteria found in plaque. There are certain factors that can increase the amount of acid made, the main one being sugar. The bacteria metabolises the sugar to produce the harmful acid, leading to tooth decay.
Signs of enamel erosion
The main early sign of demineralisation of tooth enamal is a white spot on the tooth. It's at this stage that using a fluoride toothpaste will help by protecting the tooth from further erosion, but also by helping to re-mineralise the tooth and repair the enamel.
If left, enamel demineralisation will eventually lead to a hole in the enamel, formation of cavity and infection.
Other signs of erosion are: sensitivity, cracks, discoloration, and indentations. Eventually decay will cause the nerve fibres to become exposed and cause an awful lot of pain.
Prevention and Treatment
Toothpaste with fluoride helps to prevent tooth decay. In certain circumstances your teeth may require larger doses of fluoride than the amount available in your normal toothpaste to remain healthy. High fluoride toothpastes like Duraphat 2800 and Duraphat 5000 help to protect the teeth from plaque and re-mineralise any damaged teeth.
Brushing your teeth twice a day will ensure all surfaces are kept plaque free and use of floss and interdental brushes will also ensure the surfaces in between teeth are kept clean.
Reducing dietary intake of sugar can also help reduce plaque acid formation and should be part of the treatment plan when using fluoride products.
At Simply Meds Online we stock Colgate Duraphat and Morningside Fluoride Toothpaste, the same as what your dentist would prescribe for enamel erosion.