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Dental Health2018-11-06T13:40:53+00:00

What Is Tooth Decay?

Tooth decay is the most common oral disease in the world.
It occurs when harmful acid producing bacteria eat away at the protective tooth surface (or enamel), eventually becoming a painful cavity.

Specifically, the bacteria Streptococcus mutans, in combination with simple carbohydrates (e.g., sugary foods), have been found to be the major culprits in tooth decay.

Inadequate dental hygiene and poor diet (e.g., frequent snacking) will increase the risk of tooth decay.

How Does Tooth Decay Affect Me?

Globally 60-90% of school-aged children are affected by tooth decay, and almost 100% of adults have had this problem.
Around the world, 30% of those aged 65 to 74 have lost all their teeth from tooth decay and other dental complications.
Tooth decay can lead to sensitive teeth, black spots, lesions, tooth aches, and ultimately, tooth loss due to rotting. Further, tooth decay has been linked to delaying children’s physical development, causing gingival inflammation and even leading to lymphadenitis. Inflammation caused by tooth decay can become a source of infection, increasing the risk of rheumatic fever, myocarditis, nephritis and other systemic diseases.
Globally 60-90% of school-aged children are affected by tooth decay, and almost 100%
of adults have had this problem.
Around the world, 30% of those aged 65 to 74 have lost all their teeth from tooth decay
and other dental complications.
Tooth decay can lead to sensitive teeth, black spots, lesions, tooth aches, and ultimately, tooth loss due to rotting. Further, tooth decay has been linked to delaying children’s physical development, causing gingival inflammation and even leading to lymphadenitis. Inflammation caused by tooth decay can become a source of infection, increasing the risk of rheumatic fever, myocarditis, nephritis and other systemic diseases.

Why are prevention and risk assessment important?

According to the American Dental Association, tooth decay is highly preventable. By applying systematic ways of detection, classification and risk assessment, together with preventative measures, much of the progression and pain of tooth decay can be avoided.
Tooth fillings are only a temporary solution. Over 71% of those who’ve had tooth fillings return with cavities. Even small changes in daily habits can increase your risk of tooth decay over time. That’s why identifying and monitoring one’s risk is an important first step towards prevention.

In Hong Kong, each family spends over HK$15,000 a year on dental health,
with a majority of the amount on treating preventable conditions such as tooth decay.

How To Maintain Good Dental Health

Brush twice daily with fluoride toothpaste

Floss after meals

Reduce the growth of bacteria by snacking less and eating less sweets

Rinse mouth frequently with anti-bacterial mouthwash

Visit your dentist regularly for professional oral cleanings and check-ups