Good Oral Hygiene
Good oral, dental hygiene has every many positive effects in our day to day lives. It not only strengthens our teeth and gums, but it also has positive effects on our overall health and wellbeing as well. Conversely, bad oral dental hygiene can have detrimental effects on our health. Good oral hygiene can prevent bad breath, dental caries or cavities, gingivitis and even periodontitis.
Cavities can be best described as tooth decay. This is the most common dental disease in the planet as it is an infectious disease that damages the teeth structure. Cavities can lead to tooth loss, infection, pain and even death in some cases. They are caused by bacteria which produce acid that then eats away the teeth's enamel. Specifically, the acidity produced in the mouth lowers the pH balance to a point where demineralisation happens faster than mineralization. The result is of course tooth decay. Tooth decay is irreversible and once a tooth decays, it cannot be restored except through some dental procedures. Therefore, the best preventative care measure is by observing good dental hygiene.
Gingivitis is another result of poor oral dental hygiene. Simply put, it is the inflammation of the gums around the teeth. It is usually as a result of tartar and plaque buildup due to improper cleaning of the teeth or by the injury caused by vigorous flossing and brushing of teeth. When bacterial plaque builds up in the spaces between teeth and gums, the chemicals produced by the bacteria lead to inflammation of the gums around the teeth.
Gingivitis symptoms include swollen gums, purple or red gums, shiny gums, mouth sores, bleeding gums, receding gum lines and itchy gums. This condition is reversible, but the best way to prevent it is by brushing your teeth gently on a daily basis.
Pyorrhea or periodontitis is another dental problem that is as a result of untreated gingivitis. If the inflammation is left unattended for years, it can cause deep pockets between the gums and the teeth which result in loss of bones around the teeth. And since the bone in the jaw hold the teeth, the loss of this bone can cause the teeth to become loose and eventually fall out.
Periodontitis symptoms are:
1. Gum swellings that keep recurring
2. Occasional redness or bleeding of the gums when flossing or while brushing the teeth.
3. Halitosis or bad breath
4. Recession of the gums
5. Persistent bad taste in the mouth.
6. Pockets between the gums and the teeth. Pockets are areas where the jaw bone has been gradually destroyed by repeated swellings.
7. Shaky or lose teeth in later stages.
8. And inflammation of the tonsils or the throat due to fragments of bones being embedded in the tissue.
Periodontitis is not reversible, but it can be controlled by cleaning the gum line regularly. This can be done best by a dental practitioner or a dentist. This cleaning disrupts and removes the plaque in order to prevent further inflammation and infection. Although the plaque might continue to grow even after the cleaning has been done, it takes around three months for this type of bacteria to grow back in the deep pockets and restart the inflammation again. However, the best way to prevent periodontitis is to have a good oral, dental hygiene from the start.
Oral bad breath, also known as halitosis, breath odor or oral malodor is a condition where the mouth exhales unpleasant odors. Chronic bad breath and transient bad breath are the two most common conditions that affect individuals.
Transient bad breath is temporary, and it is caused by things such as hunger, stress, smoking, food, and bad oral hygiene in general. What we know as morning breath is a good example of transient bad breath, and it can be easily treated by chewing gum or by just brushing.
However, chronic breath, on the other hand, is a more serious and persistent condition. It is often caused by persistent overpopulation of some oral bacteria and it, therefore, requires specialized treatment.
All the above conditions are all problems you might encounter if you engage in poor oral dental hygiene. Taking care of your gums and teeth goes a long way in helping you become a healthier person.