The most common dental disease on the planet is caries. Almost everyone faces it sooner or later, and in our country it is often already in a neglected form.
This is largely due to the lack of a culture of prevention: Russians go to the dentist when a flux has already appeared, or, as dentists say, acute periostitis, and the pain has become unbearable. At first, people are not worried about anything, they think that there is no need to go to the doctor and pay money. And then it turns out that the condition of the oral cavity leaves much to be desired and already requires serious treatment. The question arises: is it possible to notice caries in time and when is it not too late to see a doctor? Aleksey Bolyachin, dentist, Ph. D., Colgate expert on caries diagnostics and prevention, shared his opinion on this matter.
Caries is an insidious disease. In the early stages, patients have absolutely no complaints, and the changes are so subtle that even a dentist with professional equipment can find it difficult to notice them. Therefore, I still recommend visiting the dentist regularly for preventive purposes - at least once every six months.
At first, carious defects look like white spots with a rough surface - these are foci of demineralization. So doctors call areas where tooth enamel has lost mineral components. The reason for demineralization is an increase in the acidity of the oral cavity due to the formation of sugar acids. Sugar acids are products of the breakdown of sugars by cariogenic bacteria, which are formed in the oral cavity in large quantities after each meal. They make the enamel brittle and gradually destroy it.
It is almost impossible to notice white spots on your own, without the help of a professional, and caries is reversible only at the initial stage. On self-examination, you may notice later forms of caries:
· Dark spot. Pigmentation is due to the fact that cariogenic bacteria penetrate into the spaces formed due to the loss of mineral components by the enamel.
· Carious cavity. In this case, not only the enamel is destroyed, but also the deeper structures of the tooth. Lack of treatment at this stage carries the risk of various complications and even tooth loss.
Therefore, I want to pay attention once again: even if you are attentive to yourself and regularly examine your teeth in the mirror, this does not replace going to the dentist for a professional diagnosis. During self-examination, as a dentist, I recommend paying attention to the following points:
· The color of the teeth, the amount and color of plaque on the teeth and tongue. If plaque is already visually noticeable and is not cleaned with a toothbrush and toothpaste, then this is an occasion to visit a dentist for professional oral hygiene and timely diagnosis.
· Pay particular attention to spaces between teeth and areas along the gum line. If there is redness or inflammation/slight swelling of the gums, this is also a reason to see a dentist.
· If you have fillings, carefully inspect their borders - this is one of the risk areas for caries. If you find dark borders or spots on the filling, this may be the initial stage of caries and you should immediately consult a doctor.
· Be careful when brushing your teeth. If you notice bleeding gums for a long time that does not go away even if you use a special toothpaste for bleeding gums, this is an occasion to consult a dentist so as not to miss the initial stage of gum disease.
In addition to visual changes, symptoms such as sensitivity to hot, sweet and sour, and bad breath should make you think about visiting the dentist. But when a pain syndrome appears, especially a sharp throbbing pain that worsens at night, you need to make an appointment with a doctor as soon as possible.
For the full protection of teeth from caries, daily thorough oral hygiene using high-quality products is of the utmost importance. More recently, in accordance with the recommendation of the Dental Association of Russia, the most effective way to prevent caries was the use of toothpaste with fluorides. However, the action of fluorides is limited to strengthening the enamel of the teeth and does not affect the main cause of caries - sugar acids.
But today, scientists have found a solution and developed an innovative toothpaste with "Sugar Acid Neutralizer" technology, which includes natural ingredients - the amino acid arginine and calcium carbonate. Certain types of oral bacteria convert arginine into compounds that neutralize dangerous acids, making the oral environment safe for the mineral components of enamel. And calcium carbonate promotes enamel remineralization. Toothpaste with "Sugar Neutralizer" technology targets the number one cause of cavities and has significant advantages over conventional fluoride toothpastes.
Innovative technologies to tackle the root cause of caries give us hope for an optimistic view of a disease-free future. But only comprehensive prevention and personal responsibility of everyone in matters of thorough hygiene will help to defeat caries. And regular examinations in the dentist's chair play an equally important role here. Do not ignore them - this will not only save your nerves, finances and strength, but will also keep your smile he althy and beautiful for a long time.