You Have an Infection Called Caries!

Welcome back; this is your Durango Co Dentist, Dr. Kent Haynes.

The first Clinical Wellness Assessment is Gum disease (Periodontal disease).

In the three previous posts I have addressed in detail Periodontal Disease.

Now I will address the Second Clinical Wellness Assessment, Caries or cavities.

You Have an Infection Called Caries!

Yes, Dental Caries is a bacterial infection.

As part of a thorough oral health evaluation, we routinely check for the only two diseases of the mouth that are caused by bacteria. These are periodontal disease and caries (cavities). This information is to help you understand the caries/cavity process and what to do to stabilize it. The results of the caries infection are cavities or “holes” in the teeth. Traditional dentistry has focused on repairing the damage from cavities by placing a filling in the tooth. Many times over and over again. Our goal is to control the bacteria and stop the cycle of filling after filling. Treating the bacteria will prevent additional damage. There are three things necessary for the caries bacteria to create holes in the teeth: 1. Cavity causing bacteria 2. Food supply for the bacteria 3. A tooth or a tooth surface in which a hole allows Cavity causing bacteria to live. These bacteria can live in our mouths for years but are balanced by our natural protective factors. When they get out of balance, they produce disease. Cavity-causing bacteria create infections by manufacturing acid from the food they eat. We can measure the acidity level of a liquid or substance using a pH scale. pH is a measure of acid or corrosiveness of a drink measured from 0 – 13. Seven is neutral and the ideal range for the mouth to be in. For bacteria to successfully make a hole in the tooth, the pH or acidity level of the mouth has to drop below 5.5. Cavity-causing bacteria produce acid from the foods they eat, and this acid attack lowers the pH to below 5.5. Acids from the foods we eat also help make an ideal environment for the cavity, causing bacteria to thrive. Once they gain a certain population number, any food we eat gives them the energy to drop the mouth pH level to below 5.5 continually. This low pH environment can last from 30 minutes to several hours after a meal. This supplies the bacteria with a food source and the bacteria produces acids. Acids are also ingested from our drinks and our food. Returning the pH to normal is initiated by the saliva, which has buffering agents. Our body naturally attempts to bring the pH back up to around seven which is neutral. Additionally, if a substance is introduced to the mouth to bring the pH above seven, the saliva would initiate buffering to get the pH back into the seven range, which our body feels is ideal. We continually strive for a neutral pH balance.

Call today for your Personalized Wellness Assessment. 1-970-299-9861

Remember, Keeping your Smile for a Lifetime are You on the Path?output