Tooth Decay – Most Common Global Disease

Tooth Decay is the most common Global Disease affecting every family where food is left on teeth that brushing cannot reach and carbohydrate fueled acid demineralisation slowly exceeds saliva and fluoride remineralisation probably every day over a number of years.

Over 80% of cavities occur inside pits and fissures on chewing surfaces where food is trapped under chewing pressure and brushing, saliva and fluoride toothpaste have no access to neutralise acid and remineralise tooth like on easy to brush surfaces.

Fissure sealants placed over chewing surfaces, like fillings without drilling, block meals or snacks being trapped and prevents acid demineralisation inside the grooves on chewing surfaces but when the sealant wears off, food is forced inside the grooves and the caries process starts again.

When sealants were forced deep inside pits and fissures of 10 extracted teeth under chewing pressure applied with a special rubber strip that can seal all upper and lower teeth together, the sealant penetrates much deeper and has a much more effective seal and should last much longer as can be seen when the teeth were dissolved in acid.

The sealants formed impressions of the small space inside pits and fissures that show where food is forced under chewing pressure and why saliva fluoride and brushing cannot reach to remineralise tooth like on accessible tooth surfaces, indicting the need to develop new ways of personal tooth care and minimalised early intervention where tooth care is not adequate.

Recent health reform reports like Health for All Australians, all recommend that governments finance better evidence based national oral health promotion to help improve personal tooth care skills. However tooth decay is the most common global disease and should involve all countries developing better evidence based oral health promotion.