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Tooth decay



How tooth decay develops

 Tooth decay is a common problem, especially among children, although in the last few decades its incidence has markedly decreased thanks to the support of appropriate preventive education programs.

 Tooth decay results from the demineralization and destruction of dental enamel (the outer hard layer of the tooth), caused by acid substances produced by dental-plaque bacteria. These bacteria, which normally live in the mouth, proliferate within the food residues which adhere to the teeth and produce acid from carbohydrates and sugars contained in these food residues.

 It is the acid produced that causes the initial demineralization and destruction of the tooth enamel, followed by the destruction of the dentin (the inner hard layer of the tooth) and the formation of a cavity which, in the most severe cases, can involve the dental pulp (the sensitive, soft tissue which contains the blood vessels and nerves to the tooth) and cause severe pain. Common complications of tooth decay include tooth loss, tooth abscesses, chewing problems and serious, even life-threatening infections.

Tooth and cavity

 Tooth decay treatment depends on the extent of the cavity. In the less severe cases, when the cavity has just begun to form, a professional fluoride treatment can be enough to restore tooth enamel. However, when the cavity has progressed considerably, other treatment options are more appropriate, such as tooth fillings, dental crowns, root canals and even tooth extractions.

 Although tooth decay is a treatable condition, prevention is the most cost-effective method for providing dental health and dealing with tooth decay.

Tooth decay prevention is based on three different approaches:

1- reinforcing tooth structure

2- limiting sugar intake

3- practicing a good oral hygiene

 The reinforcement of the dental structure (and especially of the dental enamel) can be obtained by using toothpastes containing fluoride, which protects the surface of teeth from acid attack and demineralization. Limiting refined sugars (such as those contained in sugary beverages, sweets, candies and chocolate) is the best way to prevent acid formation by mouth bacteria, since acids are just the end products of bacteria sugar metabolism. Finally a good oral hygiene is the best way to remove dental plaque. A good oral hygiene means brushing teeth after every meal and at least twice a day, using daily dental floss or interdental cleaners and visiting the dentist regularly.

 It is well known that dentistry procedures and visits are often expensive. That is why it is advisable to have their cost covered by an appropriate international health insurance plan.

If you would like to protect yourself or your family from unexpected medical conditions that may appear you can ask us for a free quotation; we will help you to choose the most appropriate International Healthcare plan.

 International Health insurance plans is an global Health Insurance broker. We have built excellent relationship with top International Health insurance providers. We offer free advice to choose your personalized Medical insurance over a wide range of International Healthcare plans. You may also contact us. Our quotation is totally free.

*Always seek professional medical advise from a qualified doctor before undergoing any treatment.

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