Not all dentists agree that it is necessary to use toothpaste to preserve a clean and healthy mouth throughout life. On the other hand, all agree that it is convenient to make a proper dental brushing to keep the teeth and gums free from the accumulation of bacterial plaque .
During the last generations the human diet has been refined and softened in such a way that the formation of bacterial plaque -composed in 60-80% of microorganisms- is already inevitable, although it is the main responsible for the formation of caries , and diseases. of the sophisticated system of fixing the teeth to the bone.
Sugars and flour
Streptococci and lactobacilli of the bacterial plaque are the main causes of caries formation. The diseases of the paradonto are due, on the other hand, to microorganisms such as actinomyces, treponemes, capnocutophagas or eikinellas.
When a food composed of carbohydrates is ingested (with sugars and flours, for example) the microbes of this plate ferment it, various acids are formed and, when the pH reaches an acid value of 5.5, the apatite begins to dissolve of the teeth.
After a couple of hours of ingesting the sugary food, the saliva has "washed" the acid. The pH increases to 6.5 and has the ability to remineralize the small demineralization that the tooth had suffered. A certain balance between demineralization and remineralization can be maintained if there is not a lot of plaque and if time is given to saliva, between food and food, so that the acids are taken away and the precise ions are provided for the correct remineralization.
However, modern customs often go against this possible rebalancing. It is difficult to avoid small ingestions of food between the hours of the main meals. From the opíparas and enviable deserving of the schoolboys to the beer with tapas with friends, going through the appetizers of commitment with canapés, sweets in the cinema and the mid morning snack in the office, the food eaten between the main meals have a huge power of imbalance although the amount consumed is minimal. Why? Because saliva does not have enough time to clear the acids in the corners of the mouth. The pH is then almost all day near 5 and the necessary remineralization does not occur.
When the demineralization persists, the prisms of the enamel and the beginning of the dental caries dissolve and there is no turning back: the lesion is irreversible. And even if the caries takes time to affect the nervous areas and does not cause any discomfort at the moment, it is advisable to start your treatment as soon as possible.
On the other hand, the continuous presence of bacterial plaque in the area of attachment of the tooth and gum causes gingivitis (the gum begins to bleed when you apply the toothbrush) and later periodontitis appears. The bacteria move below the gum reaching the tooth root and bone, causing mobility and loss of teeth. This periodontitis is responsible for 30% of the population over 60 years of age totally without teeth. The bacterial plaque matures with time, its flora changes and becomes enriched, its thickness increases and it becomes mineralized, creating the so-called tartar, very harmful for the conservation of the teeth.
To prevent this sequence of misfortunes as much as possible it is necessary to brush effectively the teeth and gums. And to facilitate the removal of plaque, and to confer greater resistance to enamel, dentifrices can also be used.