I confess, as a dentist, I love talking about teeth and educating patients about the anatomy and health of their teeth. Unfortunately, throughout many people’s lives, they will encounter progression of disease in their hard tissue (teeth) or soft tissue (gums). Fortunately, oral disease does not have to be an unstoppable progression towards cavity after cavity. A pro-active dental team can help patients reverse and control the dental caries process through regular hygiene appointments and by promoting diligent brushing and cleaning and a healthy diet.
Dental caries, also known as cavities, can be explained in laymen’s terms as a multifactorial disease caused by the interaction between a person’s dental tissue, dietary sugars, and sugar eating plaque (biofilm). Basically, a constant process of demineralization and remineralization occurs at the interface between a tooth’s surface and the plaque covering the tooth. Oral bacteria excrete acid after consuming sugar and this leads to demineralization. Over time, as bacteria in the biofilm consumes sugar and produces acid, plaque pH falls and minerals in the saliva change making an environment that is more hospitable to caries. Fluoride can be used to minimize this process by reducing demineralization and assisting in remineralization.
The use of fluoride is a controversial topic. Some people are apprehensive towards fluoride due to personal experience, research or media. While the Canadian Dental Association recommends the use of fluoride in cavity prevention, when speaking with your dentist in Kelowna, it is always within a patient’s right to refuse it.
Discuss with us the most effective ways of combating dental decay, with or without fluoride.