For years now we as a nation have been informed of the dangers towards tooth conditioning due to the increase of sugar in food and drink. During the 1960s, 1970s and even 1980s medical boards were less knowledgeable or focused on how natural and/ or artificial sweeteners affected teeth and even overall health for that matter.
In recent times however scientific analysis has evolved and noticed that sugars, acids, artificial flavours, caffeine and certain carbohydrates can invade oral healthiness and the ecosystem of the mouth. These dangers and other bacteria can damage teeth in many ways.
The sugar consistency of sweets, carbonated beverages and even placid dishes can disperse and scratch the tooth surface and enamel in order to erode. Such entities can also spread to internal or gaping areas of the tooth, leading to erosion spreading from the inside outwards. This is literally your tooth rotting from the center (see Figure 1), which can cause much pain and discomfort.
The majority of the adult population have experienced or know of how destructive tooth decay can be, so it is of great concern when these endangerment’s happen towards children.
The younger demographic is more vulnerable to decay due to consuming much more sweets and fizzy drinks compared to their elders and not having the understanding of damage to the mouth. Parents are told by their doctors, nurses and dentists that kids need to book an appointment as soon as possible.
Tooth rot is more active with the child as many are scared of the dentistry clinical environment and machinery on show. Experts believe that introducing them early will make noises, smells and surroundings more tolerable for the future. This however is an idealism and does not always take place.
A child’s lack of enthusiasm towards the dentist and constant intake of sugars and acids usually leads to one thing, an unsafe oral environment. There are many procedures that can resolve the aftermath when the person is older, ranging from Enamel Recontouring to re-shape the tooth profile, Prophyjet Treatment for polishing staining and even Porcelain Veneers.
Another more dramatic consultancy can be for an individual to undertake a Smile Makeover. This is mainly through a child not maintaining mouth health and growing up needing multiple veneers and crowns.
Of course all of these available treatments are put in place to restore damage usually created during younger years and teeth abandonment. Sometimes though children have no control over interference’s with their set, but rather the parent.
Image from www.galeranchfamilydental.com
A young person can control most artificial and bacterial components digested through being old enough to decide on whether to purchase a chocolate bar or can of pop at the local convenience store. In contrast it is fair to say that a baby only born a matter of months cannot influence their intake of second hand smoke (see Figure 2).
According to studies performed by The BMJ (a medical journal review and online publication), if a child of 4 months is exposed to discharge from the cigarette or cigar they are at an increased risk to having tooth decay at as young as 3 years of age.
Statistics based on sugar and acid decay are already worrying, as 42% of 2 to 11 year olds living in America have some form of deterioration, whilst the National Dental Health Survey based in the UK reported on almost half of those aged 8 enduring the problem.
With the number already high, the thought of that rate being sped up via second hand smoke is terrifying.
The medical review spotted that nicotine smoke towards the defenseless can encourage inflammation to the oral membrane, damage salivary gland function and decrease the accounts of Vitamin C.
Image taken from www.dailymail.co.uk
‘Children exposed to passive smoking also have lower salivary IgA levels and higher levels of sialic acid with higher activity. Sialic acid enhances the agglutination of S. mutans, leading to the formation of dental plaque and caries’.
Yvette Brazier, Medical News Today
In accordance with the report released by The BMJ, researchers based in Japan analysed over 76000 infants from just born and growing gradually to 4 month, 8 months and 18 months and 3 years from 2004-2010. Additional questionnaires were performed by adults telling of their smoking habits as the researchers discovered three worrying facts. From the numbers analysed around 6.8% were evidently exposed to tobacco, whilst a nearing 13000 children had dental caries of decaying teeth.
The most striking result was in agreement with the outcome of The BMJ, stating that 4 month old babies engulfing second hand smoke were at risk to a twofold increase of caries.
Such startling figures have constantly headlined the news over recent years, and the NHS have noticed that tooth decay towards children is becoming a big issue. Through concerns they have introduced the NHS Dental Care for Kids (see Figure 3), which involves those aged from infancy to 18 years being taught on how to manage diet and brushing their teeth. The healthcare service also encourages kids to join the Healthy Smile Programme in order to be educated on extra fluoride protection and general dental health.
Dental Care for Kids is available at Alma Dental
Please visit https://www.almadental.co.ukfamily-dentistry/childrens-nhs-dentist-north-shields-whitley-bay/