Oral Care

Why should we observe proper care for the teeth and gums? What are the implications of good oral hygiene to the overall health of the rest of the body? As early as kindergarten, children are taught the values of good dental hygiene. Teeth and gums should be well-taken care of, and this is not only for aesthetic purposes. Because the mouth is an opening to the inner cavities of the body, it can also be a channel to invite infections and possible diseases if not maintained properly. Aside from that, the mouth is also the initial site of food digestion, where food is chewed down and complex sugars are dissolved by the saliva for better nutrient absorption.

Mouths that are without smell and look healthy indicate good oral care. Good oral care includes clean teeth, pink gums that do not bleed and without bad breath. Healthy and correctly positioned teeth help in overall appearance of the face and are also an indication of the general health condition. Daily care of the teeth including brushing twice, flossing and good dietary habits will prevent tooth decay and gum disease, help in oral hygiene and stop dental problems to further develop. Brushing the teeth at least twice a day helps remove bacteria and excess food particles. Cavities are avoided when teeth and gums are healthy. Aside from using a toothbrush, flossing should also be regularly done.

Fluoride acts as the best cavity fighter, prevents tooth decay and repairs the enamel on the tooth. Fluoride can be obtained by tooth paste and drinking of fluoridated water. If drinking water doesn’t contain fluoride, a supplement of fluoride is essential to include, for its intake. An intake of balanced diet gives the required nutrients for a healthy body. If the nutrient intake is low, then the mouth has a tough time to resist infection, leading to gum disease and tooth decay. Plaque acids are produced by foods high in carbohydrates and sugars, attack tooth enamel and form cavities. It is better to eat such snacks along with the regular meals, to reduce plaque attacks. It is good to eat whole snack at a time, rather than split it into different times. Foods that stick to the teeth should be avoided for plaque control. During meals production of saliva increases, which help in thoroughly rinsing the food in the mouth.

The teeth and the gums are not the only parts to be considered, as the tongue and inner cheeks should also be brushed regularly. Studies have shown that about 80% of mouth bacteria are not on the teeth, but on these parts. There are specialized types of toothbrushes that have been designed to clean the tongue more effectively.


Cavities, tartar, plaque, gum disease, oral infection and disorders, bad breath, tooth grinding, wisdom teeth and dry mouth are some of the problems associated with teeth. Whitening treatment restores the color of the teeth to white, fluoride therapy deals with extra fluoride required for strong teeth, fillings treatment is for filling up of the cavities formed, root canal treatment for dead tissues and gums, dental sealants help in filling up the grooves of the tooth for cavity control, dental implants for protective and appearance of the teeth, tooth removal process for removal of decayed and dead teeth are some of the treatments in vogue for dental problems.

Every year, millions of dollars are spent for the purpose of dental treatments. As said before, the teeth are often repaired for more aesthetic purposes, which is why orthodontics has become a field that is in demand in dentistry. The application of braces for teeth straightening or evening is common among adolescents, since their teeth are developing at a much faster rate than adults. If repair is done at this early stage in life, the teeth become permanently even.


There is correlation between oral health and various diseases like diabetes, heart disease, cancer and HIV/AIDS. Prolonged gum disease not controlled by medication is a indication that the body is suffering from some other ailment that requires urgent attention.

Bad breath is a common problem that everyone faces occasionally and some chronically. The problem depends on personal hygiene. Proper brushing, constant saliva in the mouth, avoiding spicy and sticky food, prevention of gum disease and wounds can reduce bad breath. The persistence in spite of this is an indicator of intestinal disorder or a developing gum disease which should be attended immediately.
Dry mouth is seen on prolonged use of medications for high blood pressure, pain killers, diuretics and anti histamines causing abnormal bleeding on brushing and mouth burning. The dentist should be informed of this situation and remedial measures taken.

Oral cancer is seen mostly in males over the age of 40 than in females, the prime reasons being smoking and excessive intake of alcohol. Oral cancer occurs on the lips, inside the mouth and back of the throat. Care should be taken not to contract it and once contracted; it is a painful process for recovery.

Mouth sores occur in regions of the mouth that have been infected by bacteria. They are painful and can possibly make eating difficult. They can be treated by certain antibiotics that are applied to the problem area. Bad breath can also occur if bacteria are present in the mouth. Food particles that are not effectively cleaned off harbor the growth of bacteria, which can destroy teeth and cause bleeding gums.
Dental hygiene and oral health should be routine, not only for children, but also for adults as well. Not all people appreciate the need for this practice. Early prevention of tooth damage can ensure that the teeth and gums will serve you for a very long time.

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