Oral Wellness: Smiling your way to total health
As eyes are the window to the soul, so is your mouth the window to your body’s health. There’s increasing evidence of the link between your oral health and your overall health, which makes a healthy mouth essential for happiness at work and at home, productivity, and quality of life.
Oral wellness encompasses healthy teeth and gums, a radiant smile, absence of bad breath, and healthy oral soft tissues.
There is a strong ‘mouth-body connection’
What goes on in your mouth can affect the rest of your body…
- A mouth infection in a diabetic can disrupt blood-sugar
- Periodontal (gum) disease increases the risk of medical problems, such as heart disease and premature births.
Similarly, what goes on in your body can also affect your mouth…
- Many drugs increase your risk of dental decay and yeast
- The first appearance of several systemic diseases is in the mouth.
A common ailment with serious consequences
Oral diseases are common and the second most costly of the chronic diseases. They can affect individuals of all age groups – from an infant to the elderly – and can cause immense pain (ranked second only to labour pain!).
The effects of dental diseases are serious…
- Entry of bacteria into your bloodstream.
- Doubled risk of suffering heart disease, clogged arteries, and stroke.
- Increased likelihood of respiratory diseases such as pneumonia.
- Increased diabetic complications.
- Increased risk (by seven times) of a pregnant woman having a premature, and underdeveloped, baby.
Be vigilant about these oral health problems
The most common oral problem, gum disease, is the number 1 disease affecting people, and is seen in 75% of the people across the globe. It is an inflammation of the gums, bones, and tissues that surround and support teeth. Often difficult to recognize in its early stages, gum disease develops slowly without any real pain.
Some of the key signs of gum disease are…
- Red, swollen, sore gums
- Gums that bleed easily
- Abscesses or pockets of infection
- Loose teeth
- Shrunken, receding gum line
- Pain during chewing
- Pus oozing from the gums or between the teeth.
Tooth Decay (Dental Caries)
A most common chronic and infectious disease affecting all age groups, which results in missed school and work days, and consequently, major financial loss.
Tooth decay, set off by bacteria-created acid, starts by damaging your tooth’s protective coating, also known as enamel, causing a hole (cavity), to develop in your tooth. The cavity, if neglected, gets bigger and more painful, leading eventually to the loss of the tooth.
Young children often develop Early Tooth Decay (ECTD), which generally affects the front four teeth. Apart from causing pain, it can create speech problems and affect spacing between teeth (or orthodontic problems) later in the child’s life. The good news, however, is that ECTD is preventable by regular brushing and flossing.
Some of the key signs of tooth decay are…
- Mild to sharp tooth pain
- Sensitivity on eating hot and cold food items
- Pain that lasts even after you stop eating and drinking
- Visible holes or pits in your teeth.
Some Do’s and Don’ts for Healthy Mouth
- Maintain proper oral hygiene; brushing gently twice a day with a soft toothbrush, and flossing daily
- Rinse after eating or drinking something sweet or sticky
- Eat a healthy, balanced diet
- Avoid excessive consumption of refined foods, and sugared and sticky foods.
- Avoid frequent snacking and sipping between meals
- Avoid fizzy drinks as the acid damages teeth.
- Avoid smoking and consumption of tobacco in any other form
- Moderate your alcohol intake
- Avoid injury to your mouth and teeth
- Visit your dentist regularly for a check up to catch oral disease early.
So, get a dental check up today for smile of complete health!!!