Any dentist will tell you that our primary role is prevention of dental diseases, not only does this retain your natural teeth and keep them healthy, but it keeps the costs down to you to… Always a good thing!

In this blog post we want to highlight the main ways that you can look after your teeth and prevent tooth decay so that you can maintain your healthy smile free of any dental disease.

We also want to provide a resource where you can find out more about tooth decay advice.

As this BBC article explains tooth decay in children is a problem around the world with incident rates increasing due to the additional sugar that so many people are now eating in their diets. And whilst there are reports about treatments that can make your teeth cavity proof at the moment, this technology is in its infancy and so it’s far better to ensure you look after your teeth now rather than waiting until the future!

This video explains how tooth decay can start by eating sugar and not keeping your teeth clean.

One of the problems with avoiding tooth decay is that people think they can clean their teeth after eating sugar and that this will make everything okay. The reality is that when you eat sugar your teeth decay for about 40 min to one hour afterwards, and after this saliva can repair minor damage but this takes approximately 6 to 8 hours. This unfortunately means that brushing after eating sugary snack does not actually make much difference.

To make this all a little easier to digester (pardon the pun) we produced and infographics about tooth decay without top six tips for helping to prevent it.

Please do feel free to share the image above using the links at the top of this blog post.

What are the signs of tooth decay?

One of the biggest problems is that this is a silent disease and you may not even be aware of its attack on your teeth. One of the very earliest signs is a very light chalky area on your tooth, this is an area of demineralisation and as this increases it can turn a darker brown colour and may eventually proceed to turn into a cavity.

It is at this point of demineralisation that it is possible to turn back the clock and prevent the cavity from forming, however once the cavity is there and physical tooth structure has been lost it is not possible to replace it naturally.

If the tooth decay has progressed to the point where you have toothache then it means that the nerves have become exposed and the decay has progressed to a more severe level. Immediate action is now required to prevent the disease spreading even more.

This is why it’s important to visit a dentist regularly, as we are able to spot these early warning signs of dental decay before the demineralisation becomes too severe and turns into a cavity.

Things which can exacerbate tooth decay.

Here is a list of things which can result in an increase in tooth decay, often due to the way the substances or conditions affect with the saliva which creates and natural buffering effect in your mouth.

  • Diseases of the salivary gland – these can reduce the amount of saliva produced which affects your body’s natural ability to fight decay.
  • Some medications such as antidepressants can impair the flow of saliva.
  • Methamphetamine stimulants also affect saliva with users having a condition known as Meth Mouth.
  • Excessive cannabis use leading to a condition known as cotton mouth.
  • Smoking reduces your bodies ability to fight tooth decay.

The NHS Choices website also has some good information on tooth decay as well as a fun video which kids will find entertaining and educating.

This video also explains a little more about what happens when you have your teeth cleaned at the dentist.

Maintaining your all hygiene is a key part of the principal we have at Craigentinny dental care in Edinburgh, please do visit our own website for more information on preventing tooth decay.

Dr. Fraser Hendrie BDS (Glasg.) MFGDP (UK)

Fraser is a Glasgow graduate with over 20 years of experience. He is the one of the principal dentists at Craigentinny Dental Care in Edinburgh. He has a reputation for consistent, high quality work and a love of innovation. Many of Dr Hendrie’s patients travel from the far reaches of Scotland, the UK and beyond. So wherever you live from Portobello or around Edinburgh to further afield he will be pleased to meet you. He is a member of the Student Clinicians of the American Dental Association, British Dental Association, the Association of Dental Implantology, and has studied at the Pankey Institute in Miami on several occasions. Fraser has particular interests in Dental Implantology, Preventive dentistry, Cosmetic Dentistry and information technology. Fraser has also been admitted to the Faculty of General Dental Practitioners by examination. Fraser is married with two young children and lives in Edinburgh. In his free time he enjoys running, cycling, and kite-surfing.