Q: Hi doctor my problem is that I have got a toothache and my teeth are decaying and making holes. I have removed five. I am still a young mum and now I can’t eat properly. Is there any way I can replace my removed teeth? It’s making me annoyed and uncomfortable when it comes eating time please!
A: Toothaches are mainly due to tooth decay, which may give rise to a hole in the tooth.
How does a tooth get to the point of a cavity/hole? There are bacteria that live naturally in the mouth. When we eat foods rich in sugar and starch, the bacteria act on these foods and produce acids. These acids can eat away at the enamel covering of teeth. If these foods are eaten often, serious damage can be done to the teeth leading to the formation of cavities and subsequent decay as the acid eats its way through the enamel and may even get to the nerve ending! Imagine the quantum of pain, this person will experience! If left untreated, this can lead to a dental abscess (like a boil in the area).
If you’ve ever had a tooth ache or been close to someone who’s had one, you don’t need to be told the symptoms 😀 It is sheer excruciating pain especially when cold, hot or sweet things are taken. There may also be visible holes in the teeth.
What to do? You need to see your dentist asap. In the meantime, gargle with warm water and take some analgesics. Remember not to go over the recommended dosage. Use dental floss to remove food debris in between teeth.
Treatment is focused on putting a filling on it, root canal treatments or crowns or dentures if there is complete loss of the tooth. Your doctor will advise.
To prevent this, be sure to remember and follow the rule of twos: brush your teeth twice a day, brush your teeth for at least 2 minutes (brushing up and down in circular motions) and see your dentist at least twice a year. Use fluoride-containing toothpaste. How do you find this? Walk into any shop or supermarket and read the ingredients on the pack. If it states that it has fluoride in it, you’re on the right path 😀 Limit your intake of sugary substances…make them occasional treats and if you do take them, please rinse out your mouth or better still, brush your teeth. Be sure to brush your teeth last thing before you go to bed. If you eat afterwards and take in sugary stuff, the acid produced really has time to eat away at your teeth while you’re sleeping as a result of the fact that less saliva is produced.
All the best!