Oral health has always been important but only recently people have become aware of the health risks involved if oral health is ignored. Oral health has been connected with many major health issues including heart disease.
Disregarding oral hygiene may even lead to serious diseases like mouth cancers. Lack of oral hygiene can cause major issues of oral health including dental caries, oral cancers, periodontal diseases etc.
Why is oral health so important?
Oral health is directly related to general health. If you neglect oral health, you are at a greater risk of developing oral diseases like gingivitis, dental caries, cracked teeth syndrome and bruxism related conditions. Your mouth allows other senses to work better.
Oral health is important because lack of it may cause the following diseases.
Dental caries or tooth decay is caused by remnants of food left in the mouth. These food particles and sugar left in the mouth after meals from chocolates, and juices and fizzy drinks are worked upon by bacteria, forming a thin film on the teeth called plaque.
During this process, acid is created as a by-product by the plaque that was formed on the teeth. The acid then works on the enamel of the tooth which is the hardest tissue in the body, and create cavities in teeth.
Due to poor lifestyle habits, people continue to eat junk, creating dental caries, because of lack of awareness and ignorance. In many cases, tooth decay is not treated on time, resulting in loss of teeth in children and adults.
Periodontal or gum disease is caused by bacteria. The typical signs of periodontal disease include swollen and inflamed gums, severe pain in the gums, and bad breadth. If not treated in time, the gums get loosened from the teeth and bones, which causes teeth to fall out. The primary cause of gum disease is lack of oral hygiene and use of tobacco.
Dental trauma is caused by accidents involving face muscles and teeth. During sports and road or other accidents, sometimes injuries occur to mouth and face muscles. When the teeth are not aligned properly there are chances of getting chipped or cracked teeth. Other reasons for trauma and injury to the face is getting into fights.
There many factors causing oral cancer, one of which is lack of oral hygiene. Oral cancer includes cancers of the lips, tongue, inner and outer cheek, palette, oropharynx and gums. It is more prevalent in men and older people. Tobacco is considered to be the major cause, followed by alcohol and betel leaves. Lack of awareness about oral hygiene is one of the major causes of oral cancers.
Apart from these diseases there are other oral diseases like bad breath, dry mouth, tooth sensitivity, jaw pain, gum recession, and burning mouth. Oral diseases can result in loss of teeth if not taken care of in time.
Diseases related to poor oral hygiene
Oral health is important because it is directly related to general health and conditions resulting from lack of good oral health. There are many causes of poor oral health which includes use of tobacco, alcohol, unbalanced diets, lots of sugary treats fizzy drinks and junk food, all these factors affect oral health adversely resulting in poor general health with mild to serious health conditions.
Lack of oral health results in gum disease like gingivitis. If gingivitis is not treated, it will result in periodontitis. Then if further neglected it will lead to heart conditions because bacteria can now enter the blood stream and reach the heart.
Gastro intestinal tract diseases
When oral hygiene is poor, the bacteria can travel to your gut and disturb the digestive tract functions. It may irritate the gut linings causing discomfort and pain.
Diabetes and other chronic conditions
When the teeth and gums are not looked after properly, the bacteria can damage the tooth enamel and reach the roots and pulp of the tooth structure. The result can lead to chronic conditions like diabetes and other diseases. There can be a higher chance of getting stroke in older age if oral health is neglected.
Your immunity can be compromised if you have oral disease like gingivitis and dental caries. When your immunity grows weak, you become prone to catch bacteria and viruses from the environment more quickly and it becomes difficult to get the desired results from the medications with poor immunity.
Apart from the physical conditions, poor oral health affects your self-esteem and your social interactions. Poor oral health results in less than perfect smile, which is a two-way communication system. Poor smile leads to poor inter personal relationships. Poor oral health includes bad breadth, which will alienate people from you and make life difficult.
Poor interpersonal relationship results in reduced self-esteem and feelings of inferiority. This is a vicious cycle that goes round and round until you realize the cause of the whole problem.
Almost all of these conditions are preventable. The most important thing to remember is to educate yourself and your family members about good oral health and why it is important to keep your teeth and mouth clean. The dental health awareness needs to be communicated to the areas and across communities.
What is the best method to maintain good oral health?
The ultimate guide to good oral health is following the strict dental hygiene routine which includes brushing and flossing after meals. Regular visits to your dentist and get yearly cleaning of your teeth professionally.
Drinking fluorinated water. If fluorinated water is not provided in your tap water, ask your dentist to prescribe fluorinated products for use.
Having well balanced diet is a key to good oral health. Avoid junk food and sugary foods to prevent bacterial infections in the mouth.
In order to maintain a healthy smile, it is important to have good oral hygiene. The best way of doing so includes following a strict dental care routine. At the end of the day, maintaining good oral health will make life much more enjoyable.