How Cavities Form

cavityIn your mouth, bacteria are constantly present. These bacteria, however, are not harmful until they come in contact with sugar. They consume the sugar, turning it into an acid. The acid is what eats away your tooth structure and causes cavities.

When cavities form, your dentist will use his drill to cut out all of the decayed tooth structure. This ensures that the acidic residue left by the bacteria will not spread to your bone or other teeth, causing further complications.

After drilling out the decayed tooth, your dentist will use either a tooth colored material or a silver looking filling with a material called amalgam. He will carve the filling material until it mimics the anatomy of your original tooth structure.

Remember, by using an electric toothbrush (Sonicare, or Oral B, for example) you may avoid having to get any cavity fillings!

Got a dentistry related question? Email us with your question and we’ll build a post just for you, giving a simple, easy to understand explanation. Click here to see basic explanations for many other dental procedures and practices.

Jake the Dentist: brushflossandmouthwash@gmail.com

How a Dental Implant Works

AAID_Fig1_colorDental implants are a technology that has gained a lot of credibility more recently in the field of dentistry. The basic idea of an implant is using a titanium screw as the new “root” of your tooth. This screw goes into your bone. As your bone heals, it will fuse with the screw, making it an integral part of your oral anatomy. After it has healed for at least a couple of weeks, your dentist will install a connector piece called an abutment. The abutment connects the artificial root (The screw) to the artificial crown, which is placed directly over the abutment.

Dental care for an implant is very much like dental care for the original tooth. You brush, floss, and visit the dentist the same as you would with your original teeth.

Remember, by using an electric toothbrush (Sonicare, or Oral B, for example) you may avoid the need for an implant!

Got a dentistry related question? Email us with your question and we’ll build a post just for you, giving a simple, easy to understand explanation. Click here to see basic explanations for many other dental procedures and practices.

Jake the Dentist: brushflossandmouthwash@gmail.com

How a Dental Crown Works

6d5629aa12633985e03576a8c1241002A dental crown is used when a significant amount of tooth structure has been eaten away by acid-causing bacteria. These bacteria occur naturally in your mouth. When you eat sugar, they consume it and turn it into acid, which then eats away your tooth structure. If too much is eaten away, your dentist will need to drill away all of the outer surface of your tooth to get rid of the decayed areas and prevent their spread. Once these surfaces are removed, a custom crown will be created, mirroring the original anatomy of the tooth before the decay occurred. This crown will then be attached to the remaining tooth structure.

Remember, by using an electric toothbrush (Sonicare, or Oral B, for example) you may avoid having to get a dental crown at all!

Got a dentistry related question? Email us with your question and we’ll build a post just for you, giving a simple, easy to understand explanation. Click here to see basic explanations for many other dental procedures and practices.

Jake the Dentist: brushflossandmouthwash@gmail.com

How a Root Canal Works

RootCanalWhen tooth decay reaches the deepest level of your tooth, (The Pulp), it becomes necessary to remove the pulp in order to avoid infection spreading throughout your mouth and eventually the rest of your body. A root canal is a procedure designed to remove the decayed pulp, and replace it with a material more resistant to decay called gutta percha. Gutta percha has many qualities similar to rubber and comes from a tree found primarily in Malaysia. After filling the pulp canal with gutta percha, a crown is usually necessary to protect the new material.

Got a dentistry related question? Email us with your question and we’ll build a post just for you, giving a simple, easy to understand explanation. Click here to see basic explanations for many other dental procedures and practices.

Jake the Dentist: brushflossandmouthwash@gmail.com

How a Bridge Works

Screen Shot 2014-09-23 at 10.44.57 AMEver wonder how a bridge works? Here’s a diagram giving a simple explanation on what’s going on with a bridge, also known as a fixed partial denture. Two implant posts are placed in the bone of the recipient, and a “bridge” made up of 3 or more teeth spans across the desired area, attaching at the implanted end posts. The disadvantage to this type of restoration is that you cannot floss between the bridge teeth.

Got a dentistry related question? Email us with your question and we’ll build a post just for you, giving a simple, easy to understand explanation. Click here to see basic explanations for many other dental procedures and practices.

Jake the Dentist: brushflossandmouthwash@gmail.com

Toothpaste. What are they hiding in there?

file0001780228633In the past, studies have shown chemical in toothpaste that may cause cancer. These studies have never been fully proved, but something else has recently been discovered inside of certain brands of toothpaste.

In Phoenix, Arizona, a dental hygienist was working on a routine cleaning appointment when she noticed a bunch of blue specks in the patient’s mouth. It was initially thought to be a cleaning product or just something that the patient was chewing on, but after further inspection, the oral health professionals realized that it was actually polyethylene that had been put as an ingredient in the toothpaste. Among other things, polyethylene is used in bullet proof vests and plastic garbage bags.

Worse than having a plastic garbage bag stuck in between your teeth is what it can do to your oral health. The specs stuck between your teeth can allow sugars, bacteria, and plaque to congregate in your mouth, making it extremely difficult to brush it clean. This will ultimately lead to tooth decay, which means cavity fillings, and even a dental crown or extraction if the problem is not caught soon enough.

The infection can also spread to the bone in your mouth that holds your teeth in place. You could get periodontal disease, in which your gums and bone are infected. This disease is irreversible and very difficult to treat.

Crest, the company responsible for this strange ingredient, agreed to remove it from their product, also stating that they believed it to be completely safe and that they were simply removing it because people asked them to do so.

Jake The Dentist; brushflossandmouthwash@gmail.comburhsfloss-logo

Are You Eating Too Much Sugar?

  • A new study at the Universty College in London has suggested that the optimal amount of sugar consumption per day should be just 3 cubes, or 14 grams.
  • Before this study, The World Health Organization had suggested that no more than 10% of our total energy intake should come from sugars, while 5% should be the actual goal.
    • These parameters equated to 50 grams, or 10 cubes as the maximum, and 25 grams, or 5 cubes as the minimum.
  • The new parameters discovered by this late study, suggest only 3% of our energy intake should come from sugars.
  • Here are a few foods with their sugar content to give you an idea of how much this is:
    • 1 Can CocaCola: 35 grams
    • McDonalds Milkshake: 60 grams
    • Diet Coke/Coke Zero: 0 grams
  • Experts support administration of a sugar tax to decrease consumption.

file000920577609The above claims and requests made by researchers stem from a long-living concern that almost everybody is consuming too much sugar, which is leading to increased obesity, tooth decay, and more. To give you an idea of how important sugar’s role is in tooth decay, multiple studies have been completed which prove that without sugar, there would be no tooth decay. While it’s impossible to keep sugar out of our mouths entirely, it’s clear that any decrease in sugar intake will significantly improve your oral health.  In Nigeria, where there is extremely limited access to sugar, only 2% of the population has tooth decay. Compare that to the USA, where 92 percent of adults have had tooth decay.

With such an astounding comparison, it’s easy to see why oral health professionals are fighting for the reduced consumption of sugars. It’s not an easy battle though. Nobody wants to be told to eat less sugar, much less the companies that are selling the sugar. In the UK, Coca-Cola was asked to put a red warning label on their cans, indicating high levels of sugar. As expected, the company was less than excited to follow this guideline. In recent years, however, as the sales of Diet Coke and Coke Zero has surpassed traditional Coca-Cola, the company has agreed to place the red warning label on their cans.

“Think about the sugar you’re consuming every day”, said one researcher. “Find a place to start and you will notice a difference, not just in your oral health but in your overall health as well.”

Jake The Dentist: https://brushflossandmouthwash.com

Going to bed without brushing your teeth is disgusting. Here’s why:

file7501268592744We all know that brushing your teeth is important. We all know that it keeps our teeth white and clean and that we are supposed to do it twice a day. It freshens your breath, cleans your teeth, and helps you avoid having cavities in your mouth.

What you may not know, is why brushing twice a day is so important. Try running your tongue over your teeth along your gum line. You can probably feel a bit of something fuzzy. That’s plaque. Plaque is colonies of bacteria attacking sugar clumps in your mouth. These bacteria consume the sugar, and excrete it as acid, which then eats away at your tooth structure. So you could say that cavities are caused by the fecal matter of bacteria that’s eating away your tooth structure. Still don’t want to brush before bed?

The third key ingredient to tooth decay is time. If you give the bacteria in your mouth enough time with the sugar in your mouth, they will convert it to acid, and you will get cavities. However, brushing your teeth morning and night stops these bacteria in their tracks, and they don’t have enough time to breakdown the sugar to acidify your oral cavity. If you do not do a thorough job, that means that some bacteria escaped the cleaning session. They will remain lodged in the hard to reach areas, and the cavities will follow shortly.

In summary, brushing and flossing are critical activities to keep your mouth healthy. Mouthwash can be beneficial as well, but it is definitely not a replacement for brushing. While it can kill some oral bacteria, it will not remove plaque from your tooth structure. To do this you need to brush, preferably with a fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush. I prefer an electric toothbrush, which you can learn more about here.

Jake The Dentist; brushflossandmouthwash@gmail.com