Our mouth is the index of our body’s well-being. Manifestations of several critical diseases such as diabetes and HIV are often first detected within the oral cavity. In fact, a majority of systemic diseases have oral manifestations including mouth ulcers, dry mouth and gum-related problems.
For example, a dry mouth is often a manifestation of diabetes and certain auto immune conditions; mouth sores are a common symptom of HIV. On the other hand, poor dental health is also associated with an increased risk of developing heart disease and stroke.
It is therefore extremely important to not just take good care or your dental hygiene but also pay regular visits to your dentist to have any discrepancy in your oral cavity spotted on time. What is important to understand is that our teeth are the essential part of the skeletal system and improper care and constant disregard to oral hygiene leads to cavities and may even cause loosening of teeth from the tooth socket.
Following good dental hygiene is critical to preventing cavities and tooth decay which is debilitating and painful in the long run. It is also unsightly to have poor oral hygiene as it reflects on your appearance and personality. Bad breath, bleeding gums, yellowing teeth, tartar and plaque are all signs of poor oral hygiene.
Practicing good oral hygiene involves following a systematic process to ensure longevity of your dental structure. It includes ensuring that food particles are not sticking to your teeth for a long duration and there is no build up of oral bacteria.
Below, Dr Sageer Azaz, HOD – Dental, Paras Hospitals, Gurgaon, suggests a few ways which will help you maintain good oral hygiene. “Thankfully, maintaining good oral hygiene is not a difficult task. A little diligence, awareness and attention is sufficient to keep your oral cavity healthy,” he says.
*Supplement your morning-night brushing routine with regular flossing and mouthwash. Flossing between the teeth removes dental plaque while mouthwash helps keep bacteria under control.
*Use toothpastes containing fluoride to help prevent cavities and tooth decay.
*Gargling regularly with salt water also helps in containing the build up of oral bacteria.
*For those having artificial teeth/dentures, constant visit to the doctors is a must.
*Abstain from alcohol and tobacco products as they affect the composition and appearance of your teeth and gums.
*For people with diabetes, put in extra effort to maintain control of the disease as it will decrease the chances of gum and dental diseases.
*For dry mouth, drink plenty of water, chew sugarless gum, and avoid tobacco products and alcohol.
*Keep a tab on your medicines as certain medications affect the composition of the mouth.
*Follow a proper diet filled with calcium enriched produce and leafy vegetables. It is best to avoid sugar, as it breaks down the enamel coating and results in tooth decay.
*Visit your doctor or a dentist, if you note sudden changes in taste and smell.