Prevention and Dental Phobia

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For many sufferers of dental phobia, keeping your teeth healthy is of the utmost importance, particularly if it’s been a while since you’ve visited the dentist. It is of course, equally important to find a way of dealing with the fear, but as that can take some time, enough emphasis can’t be placed on the importance of maintaining good oral hygiene.

Preventing tooth decay

Tooth decay is a consequence of bacterial infection, often a result of a high sugar intake. The harder materials of your teeth, enamel and dentine, are softened by bacteria (more specifically acids they produce) which are nourished by a high concentration of sugar in your mouth. The treatment for this is drilling to remove the infected parts of your teeth, followed by a filling to occupy the space. Preventing tooth decay depends on good brushing technique as well as giving your teeth a break between eating sweet foods. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to cut out sweets, just make sure there’s a 4 hour break between your binges.

Protecting against acid damage

Acid erosion occurs as your teeth endure contact with acids from your stomach and external sources like acidic foods and drink. Acid erodes the harder tissues of your teeth when it makes contact with them, leaving them with an edgy appearance and increased sensitivity. The solution is to adjust your intake of acidic substances, for example fizzy drinks, which devastate your teeth over time. If you find yourself vomiting a lot or with recurring acid reflux, then you must consult your doctor as to why this is happening. More often than not the solution is to simply adjust your eating habits, namely eating more slowly and the appropriate quantities.

Preventing gum damage

Gum disease is actually a more commonplace cause of tooth loss than decay. Like tooth decay, gum disease is caused by bacteria that secrete harmful substances, particularly where your teeth meet your gums. What happens then is a red swelling of your gums as your body responds to the harmful bacteria, which then attack blood vessels in your gums making them susceptible to bleeding. This is called gingivitis, and is easily treated by regular brushing and the use of mouthwash.

Check-ups and prevention

The importance of regular dental check-ups can’t be stressed enough. Regular checks on your teeth can spot problems and give you the opportunity to sort them out long before they become severe enough to pose a serious problem. Unfortunately that is easier said than done for people suffering from a dental phobia, which often leaves them unable to make or attend their appointments. Even if a dental check-up is perhaps too much for your phobia, then arranging a chat with your dentist might be a good way to get the ball rolling on both your oral health and treating your dental phobia.

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