A report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in May revealed that a whopping 91 percent of Americans between the ages of 20 and 64 have at least one tooth or more that has dental cavities or tooth decay. The data supporting the report was collected between 2011 and 2012.
Other highlights of the report include the following:
- Of the 91 percent who had dental caries, 21 percent were not having them treated.
- Untreated dental caries were highest among Hispanics, lowest among Asians.
- One in five adults who are 65 years and above have at least one untreated cavity.
- Complete tooth loss as a result of untreated tooth decay is highest in African-American adults.
Dental caries dissected
To reduce the incidence of dental caries you have to figure out what is exactly causing the decay in the first place. There are two components needed for tooth decay to occur — bacteria and carbohydrates. When you eat carbohydrates, the enzymes in your saliva break them down to simple sugars. And your mouth is home to millions of various species of bacteria. Certain bacterial strains love the simple sugars from the carbohydrates you eat and once they ingest those sugars they produce acids that attack the enamel of your teeth, eventually resulting in decay and caries.
To counteract what the bacteria are doing, you need to practice regular, efficient dental hygiene. If you do, decay never can get a foothold on your teeth. Two minutes brushing twice a day, and one minute flossing once a day — that’s all it takes to keep decay and caries away. Plus, twice yearly dental cleanings and exams will catch anything you may have missed.
Call us at the Doctors of Dental Medicine to schedule your cleaning and exam, 732-329-3113.