Dental Decay – Prevention and Treatment

Dietary and treatment advice from our Clapham dentist.

Tooth decay is one of the most common problems that we see in our patients at the Confidental Clinic. Recent reports have also indicated that approximately 40% of children suffer from it and all this despite the wealth of knowledge available now to keep our health in good condition.

So, why, with a wider range of foods available, is dental decay still a major problem?

In fact, it is perhaps our ever expanding desire for both different foods, combined with convenience that is a significant factor. Whilst we all know that eating sugary sweets is bad for our teeth, many of us do not realise the amount of sugars ‘hidden’ in many foods.

Whilst our ancestors may have had poor dental health due to lack of good oral hygiene and professional dental care, current generations have access to both of these but still put their oral health at risk by consuming high levels of sugar.

Children

This consumption often starts in childhood. Sometimes a parent will simply give in to a child’s demands for sweets just for a bit of peace and quiet. Even those that pay attention to what their children eat though may be surprised to find high levels of sugar in many of those ‘healthy’ snacks that they offer their children. Snacks such as yoghurt coated raisins and fruit based drinks are often extremely high in sugar content. Sadly, becoming used to sweet foods often stays with us for life and contributes to the high incidence of tooth decay.

Oral care

A good teeth cleaning regimen is important, whether we have a sweet tooth or not. Even healthy foods such as fruits can damage the teeth, and any particles of food that remain in our teeth will attract bacteria that attack our teeth and gums. For this reason, if you do not already do so, adding flossing to your routine will be of great benefit in preventing decay and gum disease.

Treating dental decay

Unfortunately, dental decay cannot be ‘treated’ as such but can only be removed. Providing that not too much damage has been caused by the decay, the most common procedure is to remove the decayed material and fill the cavity.

Increasingly, at our dental practice in Clapham near Battersea, many of our patients are opting for the more cosmetically pleasing white, or tooth coloured fillings. These offer a much more pleasing appearance than the traditional darker amalgam fillings.

More severe damage may require a tooth to be repaired using a dental crown. If the tooth is in very poor health, however, it may need to be extracted and, perhaps, a dental implant used to replace it. To help avoid serious problems caused by dental decay, you should also see your dentist at least twice a year. If you do not have a dentist and live in the Battersea or Clapham Junction areas, we are very happy to see you.

Please call the Confidental Clinic today on 020 7801 9060.