We’ve all heard adverts warning us of the dangers of acid and sugar in our diets, but the problem is bigger than we think. A recent study has shown that only 2% of people at all ages living in Nigeria had tooth decay when their diet contained almost no sugar, around 2g per day. This is in stark contrast to the west, where 92% of adults have experienced tooth decay.
Tooth decay is the most common non-communicable disease with 60-90% of school children suffering from it and, shockingly these results have grown incrementally every year since 2012. What’s more, due to our increasingly unhealthy diets which include drinking, smoking and the aforementioned sugar our teeth are becoming stained and weak leaving the future looking bleak for the oral health of the nation. So what treatments are available for those who have suffered tooth loss through gum disease and poor oral health?
If you suffer from tooth loss or discolouration it can cause a dramatic impact on your confidence. Did you know that almost ¾ of adults feel that an unattractive smile can hurt a person’s chances for career success? Not only can you self-esteem take a knock, but you may also lose your ability to eat normally and suffer the inability to speak as clearly you once did. Thankfully, due to ever growing technology there are some innovative restorative treatments on the market that can restore your smile to its full potential.
Dental implants have been around since the 1960s and have been growing in popularity ever since. They are a great replacement to dentures which can slip around the mouth causing the wearer to be uncomfortable and the gum line irritated. Dental implants are different to traditional dentures as they are permanently affixed to the jawbone using a titanium “root” with fuses to the bone. On the end of this root, a false tooth is bonded; these come in a variety of shapes, colours and sizes meaning that no matter your appearance you will find a tooth that resembles your existing set of teeth. Once the teeth are in place, you will be able to eat and speak as you once did and enjoy a completely natural looking result.
Dental veneers are wafer-thin shells of tooth-coloured material designed to cover the front surface of teeth to improve their appearance. One of the main reasons people choose to have veneers fitted is because of excessive wear of the enamel on the teeth leading to discoloration. This can be worn away due to a number of reasons:
- Excessive fizzy and soft drink consumption
- Dry mouth or low salivary flow
- A diet high in sugar and starches
- Acid reflux disease and gastrointestinal problems
- Certain medications ( aspirin, antihistamines)
- Inherited genetics
Veneers make your teeth appear strong, healthy and uniformed. Before the veneer is fitted, the existing enamel is worn away under a local anaesthetic to avoid discomfort.
Typically it can take multiple visits from your first consultation until you have your veneers fitted. This is because each set is bespoke created by an external dental technician; however cosmetic dental practices in Glasgow such as the Berkeley Clinic are discovering this can be frustrating for patients and employ their own in-house laboratories which means dental impressions do not have to be sent away. Veneers are a great long term result that strengthen your teeth and improve their appearance if damaged by a modern diet.
Of course, as the saying goes, prevention is better than cure, so rather than waiting for your teeth to become decayed, it’s advised you take daily action in order to maintain good oral health. Nobody truly wants to visit the dentist due to decay though at least 84% of adults in the UK have at least one filling.
In order to prevent your teeth from suffering decay you should:
- Use fluoride toothpaste when brushing, this prevents plaque build-up which leads to decay
- Regularly replace your toothbrush, you should do this every three months
- Use floss and mouthwash, 42% of people currently only use a toothbrush and toothpaste.
- Change your diet in order to reduce your sugar and acid intake.
- Visit your dentist regularly for a professional cleaning twice a year.
For more information on oral health, visit the Berkeley Clinic, Glasgow’s leading cosmetic, restorative and aesthetic dental practice.