Dental Treatment is not expensive, Neglect is~
How often do you see a dentist in a year?
According to the National Oral Health Survey of Adults 2010, the study indicated that only less than one-third of adults utilised oral healthcare services in the past year when almost everyone needed dental services annually. Many people feel that they do not need to visit a dentist when they do not feel any pain or discomfort in the oral cavity.
In fact, the early signs of disease in the mouth do not cause pain or discomfort. When pain occurs, usually it is too late. Prevention is better than cure and too prevention stage is more affordable than having to cure.
When the food that we eat was not cleaned properly and sticking onto our teeth, bacteria in the mouth happily “eats” the food that was left and produces acids. These acids overtime will demineralise our tooth surface, causing decay.
Why pain was not felt when there is decay?
The most outer layer of our teeth is consisting of enamel. Enamel is made up of mostly of an extremely hard mineral called calcium phosphate. When the bacteria acid attacks, enamel will be the “front liner” to protect the tooth. If decay was found at early stage, prevention, remineralisation or simple fillings still can take place.
Otherwise, decay will progress deeper, into the next layer called dentin. In dentin layer, it consists of living cells that secrete mineral substances. The living cells in dentin have nerve endings that will cause pain and sensitivity when they are injured, this is why you start to feel some discomfort. Dentin is comparatively softer than enamel, decay will progress faster when bacteria went in deeper.
Unfortunately, if bacteria go into deepest layer, which is the pulp tissues (which consists of nerve and blood vessels), the tooth is no longer can be filled. You will eventually be advised by dentists to remove the tooth or perform root canal treatment in order to relieve pain.
Do you have bad breath? Do you bleed when you brush?
These questions are common and have been troubling our lives from day to day. So, what are the causes to these problems?
Dental plaque is the culprit!
Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that constantly forms on teeth few hours after food. Plaque forms when bacteria in your mouth mix with sugary or starchy foods. These acids can destroy tooth enamel and cause cavities and gum disease. Plaque gets hardened and form stones like structures (dental calculus) in your gums. Then gums get swollen, inflamed, starts to bleed and smell bad.
Therefore, scaling was carried out to remove plaque and dental calculus beneath the gums. If treatment is delayed, the gum situation worsens (progresses to periodontitis) and teeth might become shaky as the bacteria has eaten up the surrounding bones causes the teeth to lose support. Eventually, more complex treatment like root planning/ surgery/ tooth removal will be needed.
In conclusion, if dental visits were done regularly (recommended twice a year), decay and gum diseases were detected at early stage, simple filling and scaling can be done at a lower range of fees. Complex treatments such as root canal treatments, root planning, tooth extractions and replacement afterwards can be avoided.
General check-up twice a year along with full mouth diagnostic x-rays (recommended to be taken once in two years) are essential to maintain a healthy lifestyle with brighter smile.
Dental Clinic careline : 0132348421
Written by Dr Lam – DDS (MAHSA)