Common Oral Health Threats


General lack of awareness about the importance of oral health and its severe consequences on the overall health of in an individual is the major reason why despite knowing the need, oral health is not considered priority. People often assume that bad breath, tooth decay and cavities are the only impacts of neglecting oral health. However prolonged ignorance of dental hygiene can lead to much severe consequences like increased risk of heart diseases and stroke, diabetes, oral cancer etc.

Oral health is a lot more than health of the mouth, teeth and gums. However, all dental problems are preventable. Simple steps taken at an individual level can help in avoiding major dental health problems. In order to understand how one can avoid oral health issues, it is important to know the main triggers or threats to oral health that can be avoided. Some of the common threats to maintaining good oral hygiene are;

  • Poor dental practices

Irrespective of whether your brush your teeth for a good smile, to avoid bad breath or because it’s a social necessity, most of us do not brush for the recommended two times a day. In addition to this we often neglect flossing and consider it to be unnecessary. Brushing and flossing are two sides of a coin and go hand in hand. It is extremely important to floss after brushing since only a floss can reach areas in between the teeth where the brush is unable to reach. In addition to this we often use our teeth as tools, relying on them for various odd jobs like ripping off the price tag from a piece of clothing, opening the top of a bottle etc. It surely doesn’t cause any immediate harm but the aftereffects on your teeth can be really bad.

  • Avoiding regular dental checks

The importance of a visit to the dentist cannot be enough stressed upon. Most people only visit the dentist in case of tooth ache or any specific dental problem. This can be avoided if a visit to the dentist is scheduled regularly. Irrespective of whether you have a problem or not, one must visit a dentist at least once every 6 months. This may vary depending on some people who may require to consult a specialist more frequently. Preventive care is extremely important as dentists can spot symptoms of oral health conditions in its root stages. Letting the problems linger can lead to much sever and much painful oral health issues. A simple cavity in one single tooth can ultimately lead to extraction if left untreated.

  • Unhealthy Diet

A healthy nutritious diet is important in maintaining good health. The food you intake has a direct impact on your overall oral health. It is always recommended to avoid excessively sugary food because the high sugar can cause tooth problems. The sugar in the food consumed mixes with the saliva and causes increased bacteria in the mouth that ultimately turns in a sticky substance called plaque. This accumulates in between the teeth causing tooth decay. It is not the sugar in the food but the chemical reaction it causes that harms the teeth. Avoid sticky and chewy foods that tend to remain on the teeth. If you consume any such food item, make sure to brush soon after. Opting for crisp fruits and vegetables is highly recommended. Drink lots of water and avoid the sugary sodas. Water helps keep the gums hydrated aiding in production of more saliva to protect against bacteria in the mouth. Following a healthy diet plan is important for the overall health of an individual, oral health being a part of which.

  • Ignoring the gums

For a lot of people, oral hygiene is just brushing the teeth. How often do we really think about the health of our gums? Most people assume that their gums are healthy and spend time focusing on other problems. The gums are actually made up of a tender skin that covers the teeth partially. They act as a protective layer for the teeth/bones by acting as a barrier preventing bacteria from entering inside. It is important to take care of the gums by brushing and flossing in order to avoid the accumulation of plaque on the surface of the tooth. Plaque if left as it is can release toxins that inflame the gum. Infections of the gum can slowly destroy the gums and the bones around the teeth and ultimately lead to tooth loss.

  • Tobacco

All of us know that smoking is bad for health, but did we know that tobacco in any harm is extremely harmful for oral health. Smoking and tobacco usage causes teeth staining, yellow teeth, poor sense of taste and a bad breath smelling of tobacco. Smoking cigarettes, pipes, cigars etc. is in fact, one of the most common causes of gum diseases Many tobacco products have sugar added to them which is an enemy of the mouth. Usage of tobacco and its products does no good for the body, it weakens the immune system, which makes it difficult to ward off any oral diseases. The only way to eliminate any harm caused to the body with usage of such products is to quit them completely.

Dr. Adil Nadim Faridi

Dental Surgeon 

Aster Hospital, Mankhool 

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