The Importance of Maintaining Good Oral Hygiene

The Importance of Maintaining Good Oral Hygiene

Oct 01, 2020

Research has proved that a person’s oral health influences their overall body health. Dental issues like gum disease and cavities have been known to affect other body parts like the heart if left untreated. In some cases, these illnesses impair a person’s ability to speak or eat properly causing pain. What most people do not know is that oral problems do not only affect the mouth but also other areas situated outside the oral cavity.

How Poor Dental Health Affects Your Body

Taking good care of your gums, mouth, and teeth aids in the prevention of tooth rot, gum infection, and bad breath thus lowering the risk of developing serious issues like diabetes and heart attack. Studies have shown that it is possible for the bacteria present in a gum disease patient to travel from the mouth to the heart and cause clogged arteries, stroke, or heart disease. Periodontitis, which refers to the infection of the gums, has also been associated with low-birth weight and premature births in expectant mothers.

If you practice poor oral care, it becomes easy for bacteria in the oral cavity to accumulate and thrive between your teeth and gums causing a type of gum infection called gingivitis which aggravates further into periodontitis. If by any chance the bacteria find its way into the bloodstream, infections can occur in other areas of the body. This won’t be a major problem for people who have a strong immune system because it will fight off the bacteria. As for those whose immune systems have been weakened due to other diseases, the results can be devastating and in worst-case scenarios, death will occur.

Signs That May Indicate a Dental Problem

Dr. James M. Fieldhouse, a dental practitioner who provides both general dentistry and preventive dentistry services in La Grange Park, IL, has warned against the ill-habit of waiting for symptoms to appear before one goes to the dentist. He encourages people to book appointments with qualified dentists for check-ups and teeth cleaning at least twice a year as this makes it possible to detect an issue before it worsens.

Below are warning signs that you should look out for and if you spot any mentioned, please visit a dental office as soon as you can:

  • Swollen or bleeding gums after flossing or brushing
  • Loose teeth
  • Bad breath that won’t go away even after brushing
  • Sudden tooth sensitivity to cold or hot beverages
  • Facial or cheek swelling
  • Receding gums
  • Presence of sores or ulcers in your mouth that have not healed after two weeks
  • Pain whenever you bite or chew food
  • A broken or cracked tooth
  • Constant toothache

Quick Oral Hygiene Facts

To keep you in the loop about dental hygiene, here are some few facts you should know about.

  • What oral signs may predict – The mouth often reflects the body’s health condition and when someone is sick it can be used to predict what may be wrong. For instance, if one is suffering from a systemic disease like diabetes or AIDS, the first visible symptoms are oral lesions.
  • Your saliva is a defense tool – Did you know that saliva has antibodies, which protect the body against disease-causing agents like viruses and bacteria? Although saliva protects the body from harmful pathogens, it’s impossible for it to prevent more than 500 bacteria species from thriving in your mouth. Without an ideal oral routine care, these bacteria form plaque, which can lead to health issues.
  • Saliva testing – When it comes to the diagnosis of diseases, the saliva is an important tool that can be used to shed some light on what the problem might be. Saliva tests are used to detect some types of body cancer. By checking cortisol levels in saliva, professionals are able to monitor responses of stress in newborns.

How Oral Problems Are Treated

  • Professional cleanings – This procedure eliminates plaque and tartar that were missed while flossing and brushing teeth.
  • Antibiotics – They are prescribed to patients with gum infection to kill the bacteria.
  • Root canal – A root canal is needed when decay has spread to a tooth’s nerve. It involves removing the nerve and replacing it with a material that is biocompatible.
  • Probiotics – They are used to prevent bad breath, oral cancers, and plaque.
  • Surgery – An oral surgery is carried out to treat advanced periodontal diseases or fix broken/missing teeth.
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