Maintaining our teeth well into our golden years would be a very good goal as the quality of our life all along our journey is enhanced. In order to accomplish that, the enemies of our mouth must be addressed. Recognition and awareness of the enemies is therefore essential to our oral health.
Our mouths contain a huge load of bacterial population. Ultimately, all bacteria are concerned with their survival via energy conversion and reproduction. Bacteria divide as often as three times an hour. And, they have the means to break down their organic environment into simpler food molecules for their own energy conversion. Their organic environment is none other than our mouths, and their easiest target is the gum connections with our teeth. Our best defense is toothbrushing, flossing, and saliva flow. When we brush or floss our teeth (multiple times a day), our mindset should be that we are fighting the bacteria as we do so. And water drinking and swishing during the day helps also.
Eating or drinking foods high in sugar or acidity will lead to the destruction of the teeth and gums.
Tartar, or calculus, is the calcium that comes out of our saliva that builds up as crusty chunky deposits on the roots of our teeth. It is the tartar below the gum line that causes the trouble. Without pain, the gums are irritated and the tartar buildup worsens over time. In conjunction with the bacteria, gum disease and eventual loss of teeth result. Our best defense is having our teeth cleaned of tartar every six months or as necessary.
Wear and tear
Also known as attrition, one of the best reasons braces are recommended for young people is so that their bites can better bear the load of wear and tear. We use our teeth, and the teeth are weakened over time. Teeth can then chip, fracture or break outright. Our best defense – routine dental care. In long gone days of yesteryear, people just let their teeth break, endured the pain and waited till their teeth fell out. Or they would see the traveling dentist when he came into town for extractions done using shots of whiskey for anesthesia.
A small percentage of the population is burdened with genetic makeup that has increased vulnerability to all of the above. But most of the population will keep their teeth providing that they avail themselves to the defenses against each of the enemies of oral health. All the bacteria, the tartar and attrition are relentless. Not employing the defenses is defined as neglect.
Ultimately – lack of information or neglect of same are the worse enemies of oral health.