What Causes Tooth Decay?

Down through thousands of years, from the Stone Age to right now, people have always had to deal with problems with their teeth.

According to a recent report by researchers who were excavating a 9,000-year-old Stone Age graveyard in Pakistan, they discovered eleven teeth that had been drilled, and repaired. In fact, one of those teeth showed evidence that a complex procedure was used to hollow out the cavity inside of the tooth.

This is compelling evidence that people centuries ago had a working knowledge of how to treat dental problems in living people. Some of the teeth they found had been drilled and filled more than once and four of the other teeth they found showed sign of decay.

If you ever wondered what causes tooth decay, let me explain. There are actually millions of germs in your mouth. Some are there as an aid to digestion. Others, like Streptococcus Mutants are the main source of decay problems. This is because they are there to eat sugar and only sugar. After eating the sugar that is on and around your teeth, it will secrete an acid that has the ability to penetrate the outer layers of your teeth, that is, the protective enamel. The result is the hole that we call: a cavity. The depth of these cavities, if allowed to remain without filling, by a dentist, can reach deep into the tooth’s pulpy chamber. Over time, this could lead you to have an expensive root canal treatment.

When discussing the millions of germs in your mouth it is interesting to note that back in the 1500s, in England, there were “tooth barbers” who treated toothaches. One of their theories was that tooth worms caused cavities and toothaches. It turns out they were close to the truth with that idea. Later, when the microscope was invented, dentists were able to actually see those tiny microorganisms that had collected as plaque in the crevices between the teeth.

Later, the Roman nobility had many problems with badly decayed teeth. After examinations and studies by the local tooth barbers it was determined that rich Romans were eating far too much sugar and that was causing their teeth to decay much faster than poor people who could not afford the same sugar-rich food.

The next question is: How can you avoid cavities?
(1) Reduce the number of germs by brushing your teeth at least twice a day.
(2) Use a toothpaste containing fluoride.
(3) Avoid food and beverages containing sugar.
(4) Eat foods with sugar substitutes instead of real sugar.
(5) But, if you do eat sweets, be sure to brush your teeth within one hour to get rid of the sugar on your teeth.

In addition, some people are born with soft teeth that are prone to decay, so they always have problems with their teeth. Others have inherited hard teeth that readily resist decay and so they are not troubled with toothaches and cavities. But either way, to be on the safe side, you need to schedule regular visits to your dentist for examinations.

A notable example of a person with soft teeth is George Washington. He had bad teeth even when he was only in his early 20s and continued until his death. He had many of his upper and lower teeth removed and replaced with dentures.

In those early days, local wood carvers made dentures of oak for him to try. Later he had dentures carved out of elephant tusk ivory. He diligently searched for a dentist who could solve his dental and denture problems. He spent most of his life with constant mouth pain. When he had his portrait painted he stuffed cotton in his mouth to improve his looks for the artist.

Regarding oral care, it is interesting to note that there are about 5 million retired senior citizens these days and about half of them have dentures that they must wear every day.

By all means, spend the money and have your natural teeth taken care of and preserved by a dentist. Do your best to avoid tooth decay. Remember, the cost of having your natural teeth removed and replaced with a modern denture can be far more than you might expect.

P.S. If you have dentures now, and if they are uncomfortable, please visit my website to see for yourself how my new always-soft denture liners can help you: www.dentureliner.com

Author's Bio: 

More About The Author, Terrance L. Weber
Now living in Toms River, New Jersey at their waterfront retirement home with his wife Doris. Terry is the author of eight eBooks. He is an award winning sales letter copywriter (DMAA, awards) and a Diamond Status (the best)writer and one of the top 20 writers (out of 400,000 world-wide writers) with EzinesArticles.com. He ran his own business for many years where he invented several office aids such as the Weber Denture Liners, Weber Wrist Wraps and several other inventions. He paints nautical scenes in oils and acrylics. He also carves and sculptures shorebirds. For about ten years Terry and Doris were active as volunteers with Habitat For Humanity as RV-Care-A-Vanners. They drove from build to build all over the USA in their 31’ RV for 2 week long volunteer builds where, as leaders of groups they helped to build about 31 houses for needy families. This is a hand-up not a handout program. New homeowners are taught by the Care-A-Vanners the basics of home maintenance. All of these new homeowners and their children are very grateful to finally have a home that they can call their own. Terry's books are readily available on both Smashwords.com and
on Amazon.com at: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Ddigital-text...