Dental Disease And It's Prevention

Unfortunately dental disease is very common but it should be avoidable. At the Princes Street Dental Practice we aim to prevent as much dental disease as possible. Dental disease largely falls into two categories, firstly tooth decay and secondly gum disease. Both these tooth decay and gum disease can lead to more serious infections.

Tooth Decay

Tooth decay (sometimes referred to as dental caries) is a preventable disease caused by the action of bacteria producing acids from sugar which dissolve healthy teeth, allowing more acid producing bacteria to enter the teeth and then cause even further damage. This can progress surprisingly rapidly. The teeth can heal however, using the natural minerals in saliva, provided the right conditions occur in the mouth. At the Princes Street Dental Practice we believe in giving advice to our patients to allow them to control their dental disease, so preventing further tooth decay. If you do not have any foods or drinks containing sugar between main meals then the chances of suffering from tooth decay decrease dramatically, it is not how much sugar you eat, it's how often you eat or drink it. If this advice is not followed then dental decay can result in large scale destruction of teeth and the formation of dental abscesses if the nerves in the teeth are killed by the bacteria.

Gum Disease

Gum disease is a major cause of tooth loss, it is largely preventable. Gum disease is caused by bacteria in the mouth breaking down the join between teeth and gums, the body's immune system however attempts to prevent this. If there is a balance between the invading bacteria any the body's immune system then gum disease will not occur. If the bacteria are allowed to grow and multiply the body's immune system reacts to fight them and gums can become inflamed, becoming red, tender and prone to bleeding. If the bacteria continue to attack the gums then the join between tooth and gum breaks down causing spaces called pockets, these pockets allow the bacteria to grow beneath the gums where it becomes difficult to remove them and further damage occurs. Over a period of time if this process continues then ultimately the underlying bone is destroyed, the teeth become loose and may "drift" so spaces appear between them. Tooth loss may swiftly follow. At the Princes Street Dental Practice we offer advice to help prevent gum disease occurring in the first place. Established gum disease usually requires active care and treatment from our dentists or more specialized care from our dental hygienists.

The key factor in gum disease that can be controlled is keeping the join between teeth and gums clean, our hygienists can advise how best to keep your teeth clean and so reduce the chance of gum disease occurring or progressing. Other factors do affect gum disease, any disturbance to your body's immune system can upset gums. Gums commonly become more inflamed during pregnancy.