Why is it important to look after our oral health?
The health of the mouth is crucial as it is directly connected to our digestive and respiratory system. Many medical conditions are initiated or made worse by having a bad oral state such as heart problems and diabetes.
Additionally, the mouth holds many harmless bacteria, so neglecting our oral hygiene can aid these microorganisms to rise in number and start causing oral infections such as tooth decay and gum disease.
Dentists advise that daily brushing, flossing and keeping regular dental appointments all are essential to keep our mouth as healthy as possible.
Common oral diseases
Tooth decay, a bacterial infection that causes tooth structure to soften then worn off, most often accompanied by dental pain.
Gum inflammation, bacterial inflammation of the gum, that initially starts as a reversible condition, but if left untreated, it could lead to a severe form of inflammation causing tooth mobility and receding gums.
Bad breath is considered the third oral problem that people usually seek dentist help for after gum disease and tooth decay.
Loss of teeth is the end result of badly worn off teeth due to decay or severe gum inflammation.
Gum recession, gums are pushed back in a slow and gradual process that leaves the fragile root of the tooth exposed leading to sensitivity and an unpleasant appearance.
What is the link between oral health and overall health?
Although the mouth is considered the gate to the outside environment, maintaining good oral health is usually undervalued. The health of someone’s mouth impacts their overall health thus neglecting it can lead to serious medical consequences or worsening the already existing ones.
Medical conditions can show oral symptoms which aid in their early detection, for example, diabetes can be silent until gum inflammation or oral lesions appear. While some oral diseases such as gum inflammation can potentially increase the risk of developing clogged arteries and strokes.
Medical conditions associated with oral health
Birth complication, gum infection has been linked to premature birth and low birth weight.
Endocarditis, bacteria from the mouth can spread via the blood stream where it gets attached to the heart valve causing life treating infection.
Pregnancy, studies have proven that an existing gum inflammation is made worse during pregnancy due to hormonal imbalance.
Immune system, poor dental health can lead to weakened immune system therefore increase your risk of developing infection.
How to take care of your mouth?
Since most of the oral diseases are avoidable, practicing oral hygiene measures will decrease your chances of getting dental problems. The following are proper oral habits to follow:
- Improving your diet by consuming more fruits and vegetable but limiting high sugar food such as sweets and soft drinks.
- Brushing twice a day with soft-bristled tooth brush, with a high fluoridated tooth paste.
- Flossing daily is important, as it removes food debris stuck between your teeth.
- Using an antiseptic mouthwash, this will help in limiting the number of harmful bacteria in your mouth.
- Visit the dentist regularly, and contact your dentist immediately if you notice an abnormal ulcer or blister in your mouth.