What is tooth decay?
It is the most common disease of the teeth and it is caused by three main factors:
1. Food – sugar. It is recommended to cut off sweets with high sugar content (bonbons, toffees, cookies). You may eat a lot of fruit and even honey provided that you brush your teeth after eating them.
2. Bacterial flora – Streptococcus mutans is the main cause of tooth decay.
3. Genetic heritage (teeth quality and heredity of each subject). Tooth decay is an irreversible process and failure to have it appropriately and timely treated may result in the loss of the teeth. Therefore, you should visit your dentist every six months; if tooth decay is treated early, pain, loss of dental material, complications, and not least, costs are reduced to a minimum.
How is tooth decay treated?
Treatment consists if possible in the complete removal of the damaged tissue followed by the sealing of the healthy tissue by filling the resulting cavity with high quality and aesthetic materials.
A lot of patients coming to our clinic have amalgam fillings. Amalgam is a mixture of liquid mercury and small pieces of silver or other metals.
Although many dentists continue to use silver amalgam especially for fillings in the side teeth, we recommend you to have as many amalgam fillings as possible removed from your teeth. Besides having an unpleasant appearance, amalgam fillings contain mercury which is toxic to the body. It accumulates in the kidneys, brains and gums.
Specialist studies conducted on patients with cancer, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease indicate that amalgam fillings should be replaced with composite resin fillings.
Additionally, mercury has a negative impact on the immune system and fertility, both in men and in women.
It is also worth to know that amalgam fillings dilate and constrict under the influence of temperature variations. This way a gap forms between the tooth and the filling which allows the penetration of bacteria that cause secondary decay.
This explains secondary decay around the most part of amalgam fillings.