What Do The Common Cold And Tooth Decay Have In Common?

You may be surprised to learn that the common cold and tooth decay have anything in common with one another, but they do. What do they have in common? They both are among the most prevalent diseases of civilized man; they are both caused by a variety of microbes; they both have defied the search for a cure; and its known that certain people are naturally immune to both. Are you naturally immune to decay?

Probably Not

According to the American Dental Association only about one percent of the adult population is immune to tooth decay. Therefore, the rest of us need to diligently care for our teeth. Tooth decay is difficult to avoid, as is the common cold. We try to avoid tooth decay by removing the mixture of harmful bacteria, food debris, and acids that form plaque by brushing our teeth twice a day and flossing daily.

An Uphill Battle

Our oral cavities are full of bacteria, both harmful and helpful. Our diets help keep a healthy balance of healthy and harmful bacteria, but most of what we eat today is filled with sugars and starches, both of which attract the harmful oral bacteria. Plaque continues to form on your teeth throughout the day, and if not removed within 22 hours it will begin to harden into tartar which no longer can be removed simply by brushing and flossing. Even if you are super diligent with your oral hygiene, you may still miss areas of plaque. Therefore, fighting tooth decay can seem like an uphill battle. However, fighting tooth decay can be easier than fighting the common cold because there are things you can actually do including performing regular oral hygiene at home and attending your professional dental exams and cleanings twice a year.