Tooth Decay | The ugly truth

Tooth decay

Tooth decay | The ugly truth

Alarming figures from the British Dental Association reveal that as a nation our teeth are in a serious state of decay. What’s even more concerning is that our children are also experiencing a catastrophic rise in childhood tooth extractions.

“Tooth decay is now the most common reason 6-10 year olds are admitted to hospital.”

“44.8% of children attended a dentist appointment in the last year, down from 58.7% in 2019-20.”

“91% of practices in England can not take on new adult NHS patients, with 79% not accepting new child NHS patients.”

“83% increase in the number of 0-19 year olds admitted to hospital for tooth extractions under general anaesthetic, due to tooth decay.”

Brace yourself for a dental journey as we explore the grim realities of this oral health menace, uncover the root causes behind its increasing prevalence, and most importantly, equip you with essential tips to prevent it from knocking on your pearly whites’ door. So, grab your toothbrush and let’s embark on this informative voyage to safeguard our smiles!

The hidden epidemic sweeping the nation

Tooth decay, the arch-nemesis of dental health! Unfortunately, we are witnessing an unprecendented rise in tooth decay in the UK over recent years. This unsettling trend has sparked concerns among dental professionals, as well as the general public. But what exactly is tooth decay, and why is it becoming more prevalent?

In simple terms, tooth decay occurs when harmful bacteria in our mouths feed on the sugars and starches from the food we consume. As they munch away, they produce acids that wear down the protective layer of our teeth – the enamel. Over time, these acid attacks create tiny holes in our teeth, leading to cavities, pain, and even more serious dental issues if left untreated.

When considering the statistics, its no wonder we have found ourselves in this decaying situation. Research conducted by the Oral Health foundation reports:

  • 39% of adults that don’t go to the dentist regularly.
  • 66% of adults have visible plaque.
  • 25% adults do not brush twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste.
  • 33% of adults have never flossed or cleaned interdentally.


Sadly, despite all advances in dental technology, as a nation we are suffering with more cavities than ever. 

Sugar, Sugar, Everywhere!

Now, let’s talk about the sugar-coated elephant in the room – our excessive sugar consumption. One of the leading culprits is the modern diet. Our love affair with sugary and acidic foods and beverages has become a serious threat to our oral health. From tempting sugary treats to fizzy drinks that tantalise our taste buds, we’ve unknowingly invited the dental demons into our mouths, encouraging their acid-producing festivities.

Moreover, the fast-paced lifestyle of today has pushed oral hygiene down the priority list for many. Rushing through the morning routines, hasty meals, and neglecting regular dental check-ups have left our precious teeth vulnerable to the onslaught of decay-causing bacteria.

Sugar, the sweet poison that it can be, wreaks havoc on our oral health. It provides the perfect feast for the bacteria in our mouths, triggering an acid attack that can last for up to 20 minutes with each sugary indulgence. Picture this: a daily ritual of sipping on sugary tea, nibbling on biscuits, or enjoying an refreshingly cold ice cream on a hot summers day could spell disaster for our teeth, leading to widespread tooth decay and oral misery.

Prevention: The Shield Against Tooth Decay

But fear not, for the battle against tooth decay is far from lost! In fact, armed with the right knowledge and tools, we can mount a formidable defence to protect our precious teeth

1. Master the Art of Brushing and Flossing

First and foremost, let’s get back to basics – brushing and flossing. As mundane as it may sound, a proper dental hygiene routine can work wonders in preventing tooth decay. Brush your teeth twice a day, using fluoride toothpaste, and spend at least two minutes on each brushing session. Don’t forget to floss once a day to remove those pesky food particles stuck between your teeth, where toothbrushes can’t reach.

2. Rein in the Sugar Monsters

Cutting down on sugar consumption is a powerful weapon in our arsenal against tooth decay. Be mindful of hidden sugars lurking in processed foods and beverages. Opt for healthier alternatives and gradually wean yourself off the sugary indulgences. Your teeth will thank you for it!

3. Embrace a Tooth-Friendly Diet

Balance is the key! Incorporate tooth-friendly foods into your diet, such as crunchy fruits and vegetables, rich in fibre, which stimulate saliva production and help neutralise harmful acids. Dairy products like cheese and yogurt are also excellent choices, as they contain calcium and phosphates that fortify tooth enamel.

4. Regular Dental Check-ups

Don’t underestimate the importance of regular dental check-ups. Your dentist is your ally in the fight against tooth decay. Regular visits will not only help catch and treat dental issues early but also offer valuable advice on maintaining excellent oral health.

5. Fluoride: The Dental Defender

Fluoride, the unsung hero of dental health, can play a significant role in preventing tooth decay. Using fluoride toothpaste and considering fluoride treatments at your dental clinic can strengthen your teeth’s enamel, making them more resilient against decay.

Proper oral hygiene and regular dental cleanings can prevent cavities before they result in pain and distress, but if left undetected they can often result in a dental emergency.

Don’t be a victim of tooth decay

Twice-a-year dental check-ups are the best way to catch cavities early, before they worsen or grow larger. Having regular dental check ups, help to avoid the pain and cost of emergency treatment.

Check-ups are also the best way to introduce your children to the dentist and keep their teeth clean and safe so they don’t have to face more intrusive procedures later down the line.

There are times however, whether due to accident or neglect that emergency intervention is required. We don’t want to hear that anyone is in a level of pain and distress that they resort to using pliers to extract their teeth.

We are committed to offering emergency care appointments within 24 hours to relieve pain, run tests and X rays offer any urgent treatment to avoid hospitalisation.

Please don’t suffer in silence. Get in touch and let us get you back on track as quickly as possible.

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