In an individual, oral health is one of the foremost indicator of any underlying infection, disease or medical condition.
Everyone should remember one important thing that, mouth along with its intraoral environment is an important indicator of many underlying dieases. So, maintaining perfect oral health displays how fit you actually are (having good muscles and toned body is always secondary to it).
Symptoms of Poor Oral Hygiene:
- Bleeding gums - can be usually found in at least 1/3rd of the population. It can be caused by oral infections like not rinsing your mouth after having food or avoiding night time brushing. Some underlying diseases like diabetes, heart problems and other systemic conditions result in gingival bleeding and inflammation.
- Inflamed and reddened gums - can be found in children who are careless about their oral hygiene and whose parents are unable to guide them about proper oral hygiene maintenance. This is also seen in people who consume lots of chocolates and sweets disregarding their health.
- Loosened teeth - is seen usually in the age group of 35 years and above. By this age, the lack of oral hygiene and care would have caused much damage to the underlying alveolar bone (part of jaw bone holding the teeth in place) and periodontium (tissue that helps in attachment of the tooth to the surrounding alveolar bone). This in turn leads to the recession of the gums (gingival recession) and bone loss resulting in loose teeth which would ultimately fall off or need to be extracted due to pain.
How to Maintain Good Oral Hygiene?
- Brush twice daily, in an up and down or circular motion for healthy gums and surrounding periodontium.
- Saline gargling (warm salt water gargling) is the best mouthwash. In case of mild infection, use an antibacterial mouthwash prescribed by your dentist. Because, continuous use of mouthwashes without the advice of your dentist for a long period causes staining and yellowing of teeth. So, kindly avoid it.
- Periodical cleaning of teeth and gums - it is always better to visit your dentist once in 6 months and go for cleaning of teeth (dental scaling) at least once in a year to prevent bleeding gums and bad breath. This has nowadays become very important because, mostly we have cooked food which does not allow proper cleaning and flushing away of debris from spaces in between the teeth.
- Go for orthodontic treatments (wire braces) only if necessary - as it results in some amount of destruction of periodontium and causes spacing between the teeth. It also causes loosened teeth and bleeding gums. Poor oral hygiene in patients wearing wire braces, causes calculus (calcified deposits on the teeth) formation in between the teeth. We need to remember that braces should be used for treatment and not as a beauty enhancement procedure. Those who undergo the treatment should have knowledge about maintenance of oral hygiene during and after this treatment.
- If you are having severe inflammation and bleeding through gums, you should consult a dentist and do a periodic check-up for diabetes, as inflammation of gums is the indicator of having diabetes.
- Any hard swelling inside the mouth has to be checked as soon as possible, to rule out any malignancies (tumours).
- Avoid tobacco chewing and smoking to prevent mouth cancers.
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