What do your teeth and the bottom of a boat have in common?

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Have you ever seen the bottom of a neglected boat? Even though it started out perfectly smooth, after a short time it gets slimy, and then barnacles form. This process is exactly like what happens to teeth when not cleaned professionally.

Just like a boat, the problem this causes to your oral health is not always visible on the surface. Over time, barnacles on a boat can silently erode its hidden surfaces. Similarly, our teeth may appear healthy, but when we look under the surface between the tooth and gum, we can see bacterial colonies which we refer to as “Plaque” and “Calculus”.

Failing to remove these bacterial colonies can increase your risk of developing gum disease and dental decay. These processes are often painless and can remain undetected until it’s too late – resulting in infection and tooth loss.

Dental decay is a multi-factorial process that requires plaque being present on a tooth surface for an extended period. The risk of decay depends on dietary factors and the quality and quantity of saliva. The interactions between these specific elements ultimately result in the formation of cavities. Click here to see how dental decay may look.

The development of gum disease is also facilitated by the presence of plaque and calculus. Just like when a splinter becomes wedged under our skin, plaque and calculus wedged under our gum tissues cause inflammation – redness, bleeding and swelling. Over time our body responds to the presence of these irritants, which results in loss of bone around our teeth. With the significant loss of bone, tooth loss can then occur. Click here to see the effect of gum disease.

The most effective way of avoiding conditions such as these is by having regular active maintenance appointments with your Dentist and Hygienist. Sometimes it can seem that maintaining the health of our teeth and gums is a little like rowing upstream…the minute you stop rowing, the river can carry you backwards over the waterfall. You can rest assure that your Medland Dental Dentist and Hygienist are here to help keep you on track. We embrace the philosophy that prevention is better than cure and love helping our patients to achieve their individual dental health goals and maintain a healthy smile.