A smile is the source of life, radiance and self-confidence, and it is important to protect your smile. But how important is it to have healthy teeth? Good oral hygiene can help prevent oral problems such as bad breath, tooth decay and gum disease, and keep your teeth healthy as you age.
Nowadays, doctors recommend getting a thorough checkup on a regular basis, as it’s not a luxury, but a necessity that each of us should adhere to. Let’s take a look at how important it is to have healthy teeth and maintain oral health.
Systemic diseases (diseases that affect multiple organs and tissues or the body as a whole) manifest first in the oral cavity. Oral diseases and systemic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, heart and kidney diseases, etc. are linked to oral health.
Tooth decay occurs when the enamel and dentin (hard, dense, bony tissue that forms the bulk of the tooth underneath the enamel) are softened by acid attack after you eat or drink something sugary. Over time, the acid forms a hole in the tooth. Tooth decay is also known as tooth decay.
The tooth structure is embedded in the bone, which is surrounded by the gums. Therefore, improper or poor care of teeth and gums can lead to bone loss, which results in loosening of teeth from the tooth socket. Poor or improper oral hygiene causes a bacterial infection consisting of calcium and phosphate salts in and around your gums and on your teeth. It forms over time when food debris on the tooth has not been properly cleaned. This leads to gingivitis, a non-destructive disease that causes inflammation of the gums.
Bad breath, bleeding gums and salty taste are the most common symptoms of gingivitis. If left untreated, it leads to periodontitis, a severe inflammation of the gums that damages soft tissue and breaks down the bone that supports the teeth.
Gum disease and other common health complications.
Gum disease (periodontitis) and health complications such as stroke and heart disease are linked. Women with gum disease are also more likely to have preterm births with low birth weight.
Over 90% of all systemic diseases have oral manifestations, including swollen gums, mouth ulcers, dry mouth, and excessive gum problems. These diseases include:
– Oral cancer
– Pancreatic cancer
– Heart disease
– Kidney disease
Poor oral hygiene can also lead to other health problems, such as:
– Mouth and facial pain: this pain is due to infection of the gums that support the teeth and can lead to tooth loss.
– Problems with the heart and other major organs: oral infections affect major organs; for example, the heart and heart valves can become inflamed from bacterial endocarditis, a condition that affects people with heart disease or damaged heart tissue.
– Digestive problems: Digestion begins with physical and chemical processes in the mouth, leading to intestinal failure, irritable bowel syndrome and other digestive disorders.
Tips for good oral hygiene:
– Brush twice a day for at least two minutes with fluoridated toothpaste.
– Floss daily to remove plaque in places your toothbrush can’t reach.
– Eat a healthy diet to get the nutrients you need (especially vitamins A and C) to prevent gum disease.
– Avoid cigarettes and smokeless tobacco, which are known to contribute to gum disease and oral cancer
– Visit the dentist regularly for teeth cleaning and checkups. This is one of the most effective ways to detect the first signs of gum disease.
How Important is Regular Dental Check-ups?
Regular dental visits can not only help you keep your smile attractive but also give your dentist indications about your overall health. Visiting your dentist regularly can help you know whether you may be at risk of any chronic disease as the health of your mouth mirrors the condition of your body as a whole. For instance, when your mouth is healthy, chances are your overall health is good, too. On the other hand, if you have poor oral health, you may have other health problems.
A dental exam can also detect poor nutrition and hygiene, growth and development problems, and improper jaw alignment. Generally, a routine dental check-up takes an hour or even less. A dental check-up every six months, along with scaling and polishing procedure, is also recommended by doctors as it can help detect any diseases associated with teeth, gums or tongue.
Do not hesitate to provide your dentist with a complete medical history and inform him or her of any recent health developments, even if they seem unrelated to your oral health.
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