Did you know that tooth decay is the most common childhood disease in the United States? More than 20 percent of children ages 3 to 11 have untreated cavities. Studies show that tooth decay is more prevalent among people who drink carbonated beverages. The citric acid found in these drinks is a primary cause of tooth decay.
According to the dentist in Bankstown, tartar is the hard, brown film that forms on your teeth and gums when plaque isn’t removed regularly. Tartar contains millions of bacteria, which attack your teeth and cause decay.
Tooth enamel is the hard outer layer of your teeth. It helps protect the softer dentin underneath, which contains nerves and blood vessels. When the enamel wears away from wear or exposure to acid, a cavity can form, and decay can spread to the dentin beneath it.
Tooth decay is also an ongoing problem for adults, with approximately 64 percent of adults over the age of 30 having some form of tooth decay.
The biggest problem with tooth decay is that it can go undetected for years because by the time it’s detected and diagnosed, the damage has already been done. Here are 3 facts about tooth decay that may surprise you:
1. About 25 million Americans lose teeth every year due to tooth decay
Where does this number come from? The CDC’s 2018 update on oral health in the United States reveals that one in four adults between 20 and 64 have lost teeth to tooth decay. According to the CDC, there are about 128 million adults over the age of 20 living in the United States, and 25 million of them have lost at least one tooth due to dental caries. That’s an incredible number, but we’re not done yet!
You can catch tooth decay from someone else by using their toothbrush. This doesn’t mean that they have to have a cavity themselves — it could be any kind of oral health issue, including periodontal disease. Researchers aren’t sure why this happens, but they’ve found that it’s possible to transmit diseases between individuals when the bacteria in their mouths mix. So, if you use someone else’s toothbrush, be sure to disinfect it with rubbing alcohol before using it yourself.
2. Tooth decay is preventable and treatable – but only if you act early enough
Tooth decay is a major public health concern, but it isn’t something that can’t be prevented with good oral hygiene habits (brushing regularly) and regular dental checkups. The cost of treating tooth decay is considerable: on average, a person suffering from severe tooth decay will see a dentist at least three times before they get the right treatment, resulting in a total cost of $1,200.
3. Diabetes is the Number One Cause of Tooth Decay
Diabetes affects the body’s ability to produce insulin and blood glucose levels. This makes it harder for the body to effectively utilize nutrients and minerals, which makes diabetes patients more likely to develop cavities. According to a study performed by The Journal of Clinical Nutrition, diabetics are three times more likely than non-diabetics to develop cavities on their teeth.
If you have diabetes or know someone who does, make sure they take proper care of their teeth under the supervision of their dentist. Ask your dentist about what types of oral hygiene products are best for diabetics.
If you don’t have a dentist yet and are struggling to find one, you can always rely on the power of the internet. Simply search for terms like “dentists boynton beach fl” or “dentist near me” and it will provide you with a list of experts that you can contact.