Oral Hygiene

Dr Priya Rani
Do you have bad breath? Do you feel shy while laughing or smiling? Do you feel uncomfortable while talking?
Oral hygiene is the most essential factor in prevention and therapy of many diseases, not only gum diseases it also affects on general health conditions. To keep your teeth for a life time, you must remove the plaque (Deposits) from your teeth and gums everyday with proper brushing and flossing. Regular dental visit are important, daily cleaning will help keep calculus formation to a minimum. A frequent professional cleaning is usually required at a regular interval.
To self evaluate : check if you bleed on brushing, having yellowish or brown stains on your teeth, inflammed or red coloured swelled gums, while talking having bad breath from your mouth, gap or interdental space in between your teeth, food lodgement or food sticked in and over the teeth.
Bad breath medically known as ‘halitosis’ is a common problem. Poor oral hygiene, gum diseases, tooth decay or mouth infection can also causes of halitosis infection in the lungs, sinuses or airways can also causes bad breath due to presence of nasal secretion that may drain into mouth.
Common causes of swelling of gums include gingivitis (inflamed gums) infections (viral or fungal) malnutrition, poorly fitting dentures or dental appliances, pregnancy, sensitivity to tooth paste or mouthwash, food particles stick between teeth and gums, side effect of a medicine.
Occasional bleeding of the gums can be caused by brushing your teeth too vigorously or wearing dentures that won’t fit correctly. Frequent gum bleeding can also indicate more serious conditions including periodontitis (advanced form of gum diseases), leukemia (cancer of blood).
While diabetes can lead to periodontal diseases, these diseases can also create further problems for people with diabetes. Diabetes can damage blood vessels, which can reduce blood flow throughout your body including your gums, which may lead to infection and become weak and bad breath.
Your digestive tract can have more to do with your oral health. If you tend to have heart burn or reflux after certain foods, think dairy and spicy foods, then your bad breath could be related to the excess acid poduced by your digestive tract.
(A sweet, fruity odour can be a sign of complication of diabetes. An odour of ammonia is associated with kidney diseases. A very foul, fruity odour may be sign of anorexia nervosa other diseases such as asthma, lung cancer, liver diseases also can cause distinct odours on the breath).
Oral Hygiene on General Health : Our month is a window into what going on rest of body often serving as helpful vantage point for detecting early sign and symptoms of systemic diseases. A disease that affects our entire body, not just one of its parts. Systemic conditions such as Aids or diabetes often become apparent as mouth lesions or other oral problems. Poor dental care lead to cavities.
The microbes from inflammation of gums and periodontal diseases enter our blood steam and travel to the arteries in the heart and causes hardening of arteries. It causes plaque to develop on the inner walls of arteries which thicken and this decreases or may block blood flow through the body. It increases the risk of heart attack. The inner lining of heart become infected and inflammed.
The bacteria from gingivitis may enter the brain through either nerve channels in the head or through the blood stream, might lead to development of Aizheimer’s disease (disease of brain).
Gum diseases causes you to get infections in your lungs including pneumonia, inflammation of the gum tissue and periodontal disease can make it harder to control your blood sugar and make your diabetes symptoms worse. Dental care is also a possible factor in immune system disorders, weak bones.
Being pregnant in itself does not cause bad breath, but the nausea and morning sickness common during pregnancy cause bad breath. In addition, hormonal changes, dehydration, and eating different foods due to cravings may also contribute to bad breath during pregnancy.
Not only oral hygiene affects our gums and teeth but also effect our general health including heart, liver, lungs and systemic complications like diabetes.
Healthy teeth are important to be able to chew high quality protein foods such as meat, fish, people on dialysis may receive blood thining medicine during their dialysis treatment to prevent clotting. Because some dental procedures can cause bleeding, it is important to schedule dental appointments on non -dialysis days.
Poor oral hygiene a killer for liver disease patients due to oral bacterial translocation. Poor oral hygiene can prove fatal for liver disease patients. Death rates from cirrhosis are higher among people with severe gums disease.
For maintenance of good oral hygiene and taking care of teeth and mouth, you should brush twice daily with a soft, simple, flat headed tooth brush, still many of us continue to neglect brushing our teeth at night. But brushing before bed gets rid of the germs and plaque that accumulate through out the day. The way you brush is equally important, infact doing a poor job or brushing at all. Gently brush your tongue ever fine you brush your teeth.
Begin with right equipment a soft bristled tooth brush if the bristles on your tooth brush are bent or frayed but a new one. A worn out brush won’t clean your teeth properly, while brushing the outside surfaces of your teeth position the brush at 45 degree angle where your gum and teeth meet. Your teeth should be brushed for a full two minutes, twice per day. Most of us fall short- the average time, most people spend in brushing 45 seconds. Brush with short strokes about the width of one tooth. Move your tooth brush back and forth along the outside surfaces of your teeth, apply gentle pressure as you brush.
Flossing is a very effective way to remove plaque from surfaces where tooth brush cannot reach. To clean, hold floss tightly between the thumb and fore finger of each hand. Gently insert the floss tightly between the teeth. Do not force the floss or try to snap it into place. Remember there are two tooth surfaces, need to be cleaned, continue to floss each side of all teeth when. The floss become soiled move it to a fresh section.
After brushing and flossing rinse well. Mouth wash helps in three ways. It reduces the amount of acid in the mouth, clean hard to brush areas in and around the gums and reminderalizes the teeth. Areas where brush and floss may not be ideal, a mouth wash is particularly helpful. Always use fluoridated tooth paste as fluoride is a leading defence against tooth decay.
Drink more and more water for a good oral hygiene and intake of fruits and vegetables. Limit sugary and acidic foods, tea, coffee (wear down tooth enamel) leads to cavities.
There are two parts of a regular dental visit : checkup and examination and the cleaning or oral prophylaxis. See your dentist at least twice a year, not only for cleaning (removal of calculus) and look for cavities, regular checkups they will also be able to spot potential issues and offer treatment solution.