The Evolution of Tooth Decay

How many times do you hear that you should “brush more” or “floss more”?

Of course, brushing and flossing helps prevent tooth decay to ensure excellent oral and periodontal health by removing harmful bacteria. However, the activity in your mouth is easily influenced by the drinks and foods you consume, and the amount of stress you put on the teeth.

Tooth decay and cavities form for a number of reasons, and Carl Zimmer, a blogger for National Geographic, has crafted a wonderful article explaining the “evolution” of one of the key contributors to tooth decay: streptococcus mutans. Strep mutans is one of the hundreds of harmful bacteria living in our mouths.

The article simplifies it saying this bacterium “lives in the nooks of our teeth, feeding on carbohydrates. It excretes lactic acid as waste, and the acid eats away at the enamel on which it rests.” Strep mutans even cause more misery to our well-being, in which if it enters the bloodstream through damaged gum tissues, it can cause harm to our heart leading to health complications including heart disease, stroke, and much more.

This was a great and informative article–but a bit too simplified. While strep mutans is a key contributor to tooth decay, it’s just as important to control the pH in the mouth so the biofilm in the mouth will be less cariogenic and remineralization with Calcium, Phosphate, and Fluoride can occur. Furthermore, decay is caused by cracks in teeth from stress and poor eating habits.

As your Atlanta dentist, I understand there are a number of factors that contribute to tooth decay and cavities, and I’ll educate all my patients of these risks because if every patient (and their parents) truly learned all these risk factors, a decrease in early tooth decay and break down of teeth would occur. There are so many great products and techniques that put you in control of your own health.

In addition, the dental profession could use some help. If we could have enough leverage to convince drink companies to tell the truth about the low pH levels in their products, we could control our oral health to ensure a healthy living.

It’s time to stop playing the blame game and fix the problem!

You can control your oral health to live a healthy and longer life. Contact Flax Dental today, and allow us to educate you how to live a luxurious life, cavity-free.

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  1. I think the article was great. It was giving you one of the multiple problems that we deal with in our industry. Let’s face it, most people will not alter their diet because of tooth decay. Cutting out soda and energy drinks is one thing, but changing the way you eat. Yeah right. This is why we have jobs. In regards to the pH problem, have you noticed that people that swim alot in pools have less tooth decay? Or that surfers almost never have perio disease? (That is due to the salt water, if you dentist asks you to rinse with salt water DO IT! It has great health qualities) Makes sense. Having a new type of technology out that changes the pH in your mouth by resetting, just like you do to balance your pool, it fantabulous. Ask your dental professional about Carifree Techology. Its just a rinse. Thanks for reading!!

    Comment by Laura on January 22, 2013 at 5:22 am

  2. This makes a lot of sense and was very informative. I know by not drinking soda or drinks with a lot of sugar can cause decay around the gum line. Even a small among of education can prevent a lot of problems. My sister is a dental hygienist and she is adamant with her chicer about drinking soda or eating sweets. They don’t always understand, but they will thank her someday!!!!!!

    Comment by Teresa on February 17, 2014 at 10:08 am

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