Cleaning your teeth and gums is an essential part of keeping dental hygiene in check and will save you from expensive and not-so-pleasant dental interventions. But regular dental care is a must for many other reasons.
Proper hygiene of teeth and gums not only allows you to eat and speak, but also to freely socialize and interact with others. Healthy teeth mean a bright smile, but also a fresh breath that you won’t be ashamed of.
Pearly whites and a minty breath are all fine and dandy, but proper oral care benefits overall physical health. The mouth is the first gateway into the rest of your body. Whatever you drink or eat must pass through it and, inevitably, get in direct contact with your teeth.
Poor oral hygiene can take a person down the road of tooth decay and infections. That can be a trigger for more severe issues that can significantly ruin your health and well-being. So how does one go about maintaining good oral hygiene?
Basics of Oral Care
Parents should create healthy habits in kids from an early age, which when taken seriously can last them for a lifetime. One of them is the importance of dental hygiene. That shouldn’t only be done through ‘theory,’ but parents should be true role models to their children. That refers to using toothpaste, dental floss, regular visits to the dentist, and a healthy and proper diet, which is also vital for healthy teeth.
One of the simplest ways to keep your mouth free of bacteria and plaque is to brush your teeth. It doesn’t have to be only a nightly event, but brushing should be done twice per day, once before bed and once after waking up (or after breakfast).
You can also use toothpaste and a brush whenever you want. The idea behind brushing is to get rid of plaque on your teeth and gums. When you do this, you also remove food particles that can further promote mouth bacteria and plaque build-up.
Washing your mouth after every meal or snack is another great way to reduce plaque. If you cannot use mouthwash, feel free to use tap water to rinse your mouth. You can do that after every meal or whenever you think you have something between your teeth or on your tongue.
Also, do not forget about flossing! It’s a great way to keep your mouth clean and bacteria-free. If you’re looking for an inexpensive way to keep your mouth clean, consider using dental floss or even a tongue scraper. A clean tongue is as vital as clean teeth, as invisible deposits on its surface can be an excellent substrate for bacterial growth.
Preventing Teeth Loss
Poor oral health can cause more severe problems, such as tooth rooting and gum infections. Gingivitis is a precursor to other gum diseases and one of the top causes of tooth loss. It affects more than 75 percent of the population and can result in tooth loss in as little as a year. Also, this inflammation can spread all over your body if not stopped on time.
Other causes of teeth loss include cavities and periodontal disease. Cavities can affect the soft tissue of your gums and allow bacteria to infiltrate your mouth. Periodontal disease is caused by plaque that builds up between your teeth over time.
If neglected, that can cause tooth rooting and the death of the dental nerve. It is true that a tooth can function with or without a dental nerve, but once the nerve is extracted, the tooth will become brittle, less sustainable, and prone to breakage and loss.
Early Disease Detection
The fact is that everyone should take care of oral hygiene and general health, no matter how old they are. If you are concerned about your oral health, you may want to start with a simple visit to your dentist. Oral practitioners will provide you with a thorough examination of your mouth and teeth and advise you on whether you need help with dental and gum care.
Several factors contribute to poor oral health, such as genetics, smoking, lack of brushing and flossing habits, diseases, poor nutrition, etc. If you don’t know what type of dental issue you may have and what caused it, it’s a good idea to talk to your dentist. They can determine the best course of action for a particular situation. That will make a big difference in the way you feel and how your teeth look in the long run.
Many people have a poor habit of seeing a dentist only when it’s an emergency. They usually make an appointment when they feel pain, pulsation, or any other unpleasant sensation inside their mouth.
It is better to keep an eye on prevention and schedule a dental check-up even when you think your oral health is flawless. Regular visits will help your dentist detect possible dental issues and gum diseases in the early stages. That will further increase the chance of curing.
What Problems Dentist Can Detect?
Many diseases start quietly but are very progressive until the first visible symptoms appear. A typical example is diabetes, which can ‘stay’ in the body for a long time without giving any signs. Dentists will often advise patients with periodontitis to get tested for diabetes (especially those in risky groups).
High blood sugar levels can damage tooth enamel, causing dry mouth that increases tartar formation. Also, common indicators of diabetes are dental abscesses (purulent pockets in the tissues around the teeth) and bad breath.
Also, a routine check-up at the dentist may reveal osteoporosis. An oral practitioner could see defects in the bones surrounding tooth structures with X-rays. By reading the roentgen shot, they can see if the bones are healthy (opaque and compacted). When this is not the case, there is a high chance that the patient has osteoporosis.
People with periodontal disease (inflammation of the teeth’ supporting tissue) are much more likely to get heart disease than those with a healthy oral cavity. The most common symptoms of this problem are chronic inflammation, loose teeth, and sensitive gums. If dental disease is noticed in time and if proper treatment is approached, the condition of your heart can be greatly improved. That is why a preventive visit to the dentist is necessary.
Healthy Teeth as Disease Prevention
Decayed teeth are real small hotspots and ‘ticking bombs’ from which bigger health problems can develop. Numerous studies have shown a connection between dental issues and heart disease and an increased risk of stroke.
The bacteria causing inflammation, bleeding, and destruction of the tissues around the teeth can travel through the blood system. Once they reach the vessels, bacteria can cause clots that will eventually lead to cardiac arrest.
Inflammation within the oral cavity that is not treated can be directly related to cancerous tissue development in the body. The longer the gums are under infection, the bacteria spread freely throughout the body. Rheumatoid arthritis can also develop in the same way because uncontrolled inflammation can easily affect the joints and tendons.
Healthy Teeth Make Beautiful Smile
Besides health, proper dental hygiene is also necessary for aesthetic reasons. You need healthy and good-looking teeth not only to be beautiful in the mirror but also to be able to smile and talk to others without hesitation and hiding. That greatly helps in socialization, making private and business contacts.
But above all, a set of healthy, beautiful teeth are a sign that someone is taking care of themselves and their health. People who laugh often attract the sympathy of others and are considered more desirable in society. It can be said that proper oral hygiene is one of the X factors that makes some people shine and attract attention.
Even when neglected problems begin to show consequences, it is not too late to seek help. Advances in treatment technologies and methods have brought numerous innovations in oral hygiene. Now you no longer have to be afraid to go to the dentist. Still, keep in mind that any (painful and expensive) intervention can be prevented by proper dental care.