Tooth decay is still one of the most frequent diseases. A recent study shows that 2.4 billion people worldwide suffer from dental caries. Although at first, this seems like one of least important diseases, tooth decay can evolve and generate pain, abscesses, gum problems and even the loss of that tooth.
The results raise concerns as they show that this issue has been neglected although, when diagnosed early, the treatment is quite simple, rapid and even pain-free. There are also methods to prevent caries from forming and do not require much time or money.
Besides the physical side-effects, untreated tooth decay can lead to absenteeism at work or at school and even growth problems in children.
Caries forms due to acids found in the mouth. These substances, when present for a certain amount of time, first attack the exterior tooth layer (known as enamel). The process can progress even more, reaching more profound dental layers, affecting the dentin (the second layer after enamel) or even the pulp, leading to the well-known tooth pains and even swelling and infections.
In the end, caries can affect the tooth in such a way that by waiting too much, your only option will be for the tooth to be taken out. This implies more costs, more time, more discomfort.
For this research, the team analyzed 378 studies conducted between 1990 and 2010. The total number of participants was 4.7 million. They also conducted a global survey which showed that 2.4 billion people have untreated caries affecting their permanent teeth and 621 million children were diagnosed with untreated carious lesions in their milk teeth.
Their research predicts that 190million new caries cases will appear annually.
According to Prof. Wagner Marcenes of Queen Mary University of London, the lead researcher of the study, what we eat and what we drink has a major effect on our teeth. So the problem lies in our diet – sugar. We eat and drink products that contain too much sugar.
So, the first thing one needs to do, is to pay attention to what one consumes. The second thing would be to change one’s attitude towards dental decay. Just because it doesn’t hurt you at the moment, doesn’t mean it’s not there. It is easier to prevent or treat it in an early stage rather than waiting until you can’t sleep due to toothache.
Image Source: Dentist Jerusalem