Have you ever heard of entropy? The website Futurism.com sums it up as “the description of a system’s progression from order to disorder”. Given that explanation, it could be simplified by calling it “the process of natural decay.” In dentistry we see entropy when clients do not maintain a good routine of oral hygiene. Their dental health inevitably worsens into chaotic things like tooth decay, gum disease, dental pain, bone loss and tooth loss. Your oral health will decay unless you do something to prevent it.
Cavities as Entropy
One of the most common forms of dental entropy is cavities. According to the American Dental Association, 91% of Americans have had cavities at some point in their lives. They form when bacteria that naturally reside in your mouth produce lactic acid. This acid, assisted by acidic foods and drinks, breaks down the calcium and phosphate lattices that form your tooth enamel. This process is called demineralization. It results in lesions in your tooth enamel. As time goes on, the lesions become pits or fissures, leading to the insides of your teeth. Those pits are called dental caries, or the more common term cavities.
Holding Entropy Back
Thankfully, there is a way to prevent dental entropy from creating cavities. It starts a step earlier, by addressing demineralization. Your saliva includes calcium and phosphate to rebuild enamel lattices, restoring your teeth when small lesions appear. This process is called remineralization. You can strengthen this process with fluoride, which acts as a catalyst for remineralization. That’s why adding fluoride to mouthwashes, toothpastes, and even drinking water is such a good thing.
There are other things you can do to keep dental entropy at bay. Eating healthy foods with plenty of nutritious ingredients gives your body ammunition to resist this process, as does making water your preferred drink over sodas or alcohol. Avoiding sugary snacks or drinks ensures you are not providing a food source for the bacteria in your mouth. Of course, the best way to prevent this decay is with your regular oral hygiene. That includes brushing your teeth for two minutes twice a day, flossing to get food debris out of the way, and supplementary mouthwash as needed. If you have a water flosser, that also helps to keep your teeth and gums clean.
One more beneficial action is to keep your regular checkups with the Placerville Dental Group. We take a detailed look at your teeth and gums, clean the areas you might not be able to reach, and keep a close watch for any decline in your oral health. Depending on the circumstances, we can even help to reverse some of the effects from dental entropy.
Please give us a call with any questions or fill out our convenient online form. We’re happy to help you keep dental entropy from diminishing your smile!