Most people go to the dentist only when they are in pain or have got a problem or something sore. We understand that because we’re all busy and we don’t have time to necessarily look after our teeth as much as we should. We think if there’s nothing that we can feel then there’s nothing wrong with our teeth. Unfortunately, that’s actually really, really far from the truth because teeth have bone support around them but they’ve also got nerve within the tooth.
Now the nerve within the tooth is quite far away from the rest of the tooth. You actually need to have a lot of damage before you can actually feel anything. If you can feel something from your teeth that you didn’t feel before, it’s highly likely there may be some problem with the tooth because in order for the nerve to get stimulated, generally there’s a lot of tooth structure that needs to get damaged or eaten through to get a problem. Of course cavity sensitivity is caused by some gum recession, but in many situations it can be because of decay or hidden cavities.
Now if you look at your teeth in the mirror, it might look perfectly fine. We often see teeth that look relatively fine. They’ve got a small black dot in the middle, but we open up the tooth, we can see that it’s completely hollow and why is that? This is because enamel, the outer surface of the tooth, is a very hard structure. It’s a bit like the shell of an egg. It’s very hard, but the inside is completely, much softer. It’s seven times softer. Once decay passes through the enamel, that happens when you leave a black spot on the tooth for a bit too long and it gets even through, then it goes very, very quickly into the dentin and it decays it a lot.
What this means if that you could have this enamel on the outer surface, but inside it’s all soft which means at some point when you bite together, it could break or it could fall in and it could lead into big toothache. What we want to make sure is that if we have a decay, we will treat it as soon as possible either with a fissure sealant or some kind of treatment.
Coming to prevention, what preventive treatments can be done?
Well, if it’s very early decay, you can use something called a sealant. A sealant is where you would clean away superficial decay and seal the tooth and you do this without any injection. Typically it would take around 10 to 15 minutes and there’s no pain at all. The nice thing about it is you’re preventing a filling. The other thing you can do is you can use fluoride trays.
Fluoride trays is an excellent treatment. What they will help do is if you’ve got early cavities which haven’t yet got to the stage where the dentin is involved so they’re in the enamel only, you can re-harden those.
What you would want to do is make sure you use the fluoride trays at nighttime to help re-harden the teeth and then once the teeth had become re-hardened, you can potentially avoid having fillings done so that’s quite important.
Another thing to look at is hygiene treatment. What you want to make sure is that you don’t get too much plaque and calculus build-up between the teeth because if your gums start to get a bit swollen, you might only notice there’s a bit of puffiness or a bit of redness or a little bit of bleeding on the gum.
The problem is between the gums you have this pink triangle called the papillae and underneath those pink triangles you should have a white triangular bone. In many situations, people are losing bone and it’s called gum disease without knowing it. The problem with that is that you can’t virtually regain bones. Once you lose the bone, it’s lost forever. This is why it’s important to visit the dentist regularly to have your gums checked and have the dentist check everything.
To book your dental check up and see if you could benefit from preventive dental treatments contact us here.