5 Shocking Facts About your Teeth
1. Your Enamel is the Hardest Part of Your Body - Tooth enamel is the thin outer covering of a tooth. Like a hard shell, enamel’s primary purpose is to protect the rest of the tooth. Enamel is mostly made of calcium and phosphate, like your bones, but is stronger because of the specific proteins and crystallites that form it. Even though it is there to protect your teeth, the enamel can still chip or crack, and it is not safe from decay. Sugars and acids, like those found in soft drinks, interact with bacteria in your mouth and attack your enamel, which marks the start of tooth decay.
2. Yellow Teeth May Mean Decay – Your tooth enamel may be the hardest tissue in your body, but it isn’t impenetrable. After the first stage of demineralization, the bacterium in your mouth continues to break down your tooth enamel further. At this point, you might notice that your teeth have a yellow or grey color to them. This happens when the enamel breaks down to the point where the dentin below shows through. Dentin is a layer of material that lies immediately underneath the enamel of the tooth. Dentin does not have any living cells, so it can’t regrow. And unlike your outer enamel, fluoride treatments won’t help restore damaged dentin. Once these yellow or grey-colored stains appear, they are irreversible.
3. Your Teeth Cannot Repair Themselves - When a tooth suffers damage, it loses dentin, the hard, bony tissue underneath the enamel that forms the bulk of the tooth. Each tooth’s stem cells produce new dentin, in an attempt to repair the damage. However, this innate repair mechanism has its limits and can only manufacture tiny amounts of tissue while combating a cavity, injury, or infection. Therefore, under normal circumstances, teeth cannot heal themselves.
4. Your Mouth is Home to 300 Types of Bacteria - Plaque contains millions of bacteria, made up of 200 to 300 different species. The main culprit for poor tooth health is Streptococcus mutans, which converts sugar and other carbohydrates into the acids which eat away at your teeth. White and sticky, plaque is constantly growing. If you don’t remove it by brushing and flossing regularly, it can cause tooth decay.
5. Your Teeth are an Indicator of Your Overall Health - One in 7 adults aged 35 to 44 have gum disease. For adults older than 65, those numbers increase to 1 in every 4. Evidence is surfacing that shows oral health issues may be an indicator of other health issues. Research shows that problems in your mouth can have effects on the rest of your body and lead to other health complications. Poor oral health conditions have been linked to type 2 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and other inflammatory diseases. Poor oral health also puts people at higher risk for infections, including pneumonia. Since a healthy mouth is a significant factor in your overall health, it is important to maintain good oral health. You can take care of your teeth and reduce bacteria and inflammation by brushing at least twice a day and flossing daily. We recommend you visit your dentist regularly for professional cleanings and keep them informed of any changes in your overall health.