Frequently Asked Questions...
What is dental decay?
Dental decay is a hole in a tooth. It is also known as caries or a cavity?
Can anybody get dental decay?
If teeth and sugar are present decay may occur.
Can decay be prevented?
Yes, with effective, regular tooth brushing, a fluoride toothpaste, and a diet that doesn’t involve eating sugar more than five times per day.
What causes dental decay?
Some of the natural bacteria in the mouth convert food sugars into acid, which weaken the enamel on the teeth. If this process frequently occurs it will eventually lead to tooth decay. Caries in Latin means rottenness.
What is plaque?
Plaque is a soft, white, bacterial substance that builds up on the tooth surface.
Does everybody produce plaque?
Anybody who has any teeth will produce plaque. It will grow on dentures as well if they are in the mouth. Some people produce plaque faster than others.
Is plaque harmful to the teeth?
The bacteria in plaque produce ‘poisons’,(toxins) that can irritate the gum, causing gum disease, (gingivitis) and/or periodontitis, (disease of the tooth’s supporting bone structure).
How long does it take for plaque to develop on the teeth?
As soon as tooth brushing is completed plaque will start to grow again.
Can plaque be prevented from growing?
No, but with effective tooth brushing twice daily and cleaning interdentally (between the teeth) once daily can control the build up of plaque.
What happens if plaque is not cleaned off the teeth?
Within twenty four to forty eight hours plaque on the teeth will start to harden, turning into a substance called calculus.
BACTERIA LIVING IN PLAQUE HAVE BEEN PROVEN TO CONTRIBUTE TOWARDS HEART PROBLEMS.
What is calculus?
Calculus is hardened (calcified) plaque.
How is plaque turned into calculus?
Saliva contains minerals that soak into plaque that has been left on the teeth, causing it to harden, much like scale in a kettle.
Can calculus be brushed off like plaque?
No, calculus is a very hard structure and can only be removed by the dentist\hygienist with special instruments called scalers.
How much calculus will grow?
Calculus is rough so it attracts more plaque, which sticks to it. Within twenty four to forty eight hours it will also calcify, increasing in growth until it is physically removed.
Why does calculus have to be removed?
Calculus contains bacteria that produce poisons, (toxins) which irritate the gum, causing gum disease, (gingivitis) and /or periodontitis (disease of the tooth’s supporting bone structure).
What is the difference between calculus, scale and tartar?
Nothing, they are all the same substance, just referred to differently.
Calculus is a Latin word meaning a stone.
GUM DISEASE IS THE MAJOR CAUSE OF TOOTH LOSS IN THE OVER 35 YEAR OLDS
What is gingivitis?
Gingivitis is inflammation of the gums, the gums looking red and swollen around the tooth margins and bleeding when tooth brushing.
What caused gingivitis?
Some of the bacteria in the mouth produce poisons (toxins), that irritate the gum causing inflammation.
Can gingivitis be prevented?
Yes, with effective, regular twice daily tooth brushing and cleaning between the teeth once daily.