You brush your teeth religiously, eat a reasonably healthy diet, you floss at least some of the time, and you regularly use a mouthwash. You use a fluoride based toothpaste. You are reasonably good at maintaining a regular schedule of dental appointments. In fact, you follow all the mainstream advice on dental care. However, when you get to the dentists, there is always some dental decay, always a filling or cavity that needs attention. When you do get a filling, it often needs a bigger filling, then a really large filling, followed by a crown and root canal. If the root canal fails, then the only thing left is an implant, a large gap in your gums, or some kind of bridge device.
You in turn get more and frustrated. You purchase bigger and more powerful sonic toothbrushes, bigger tubs of mouthwash, and start brushing your teeth after lunch at work. No joy. Nothing seems to work. You talk to your dentist, who just shrugs and says it happens.
What’s going on? Very simply, dental decay and gum disease is an infection, “an invasion by pathogenic microorganisms of a bodily part in which the conditions are favorable for growth, production of toxins, and resulting injury to tissue.” (Webster’s II New Riverside University Dictionary).
What are these microorganisms? Pathogens of bacterial, protozoan, viral or fungal origin have been implicated as causal factors in periodontal disease. One strain in particular has been identified called Streptococcus mutans. Streptococcus mutans, and Streptococcus Sobrinus are the bacteria that cause the majority of tooth decay and gum disease. Streptococcus mutans is a heterotrophic organism which simply means that it must live off of another organism by eating another organism or using them as a host. The human oral cavity is the host of S. mutans.
The … Read the rest
The statistics concerning tooth decay in children are an eye-opener for many parents. It is estimated that 5 percent of babies will exhibit some form of tooth decay by the age of 9 months while 15 percent will have cavities by the time they reach their first birthday. The rate increases with age so much so that approximately 40 percent of children 12 years of age and older will suffer from moderate periodontal disease.
With such poor statistics, the obligation of parents to prevent tooth decay in their children can not be overemphasized. After all, parents must serve as role models and look after the welfare of their children when it comes to matters of health, of which dental health is a big part. Keep in mind that good dental health is closely associated with good nutrition, good immunity and good mental well-being.
Start During Pregnancy
What many mothers do not realize is that good oral health starts from the moment their babies are conceived, both for mother and child. This is because strep bacteria from dental diseases can be transmitted from the mother to the baby in the womb. Thus, pregnant women are advised to practice good dental practices before and after delivery.
Upon birth, your baby will pick up the strep bacteria from the genitourinary tract while pick-up of said germs after delivery happened from kissing and direct contact with infected saliva. Studies have proven that mothers with frequent strep oral infections because of poor oral hygiene are more likely to infect their babies. Thus, in preventing tooth decay among infants, the mother must be very conscious of dental health.
Breast Milk and Infant Formula in Caries
The most significant modifier in the prevention of tooth decay in babies and children is their diet. Breast milk per se … Read the rest