A common person is reluctant or even avoids to visit a dental clinic except when a tooth gives unbearable pain which does not subside with ordinary pain killer tablets or when tooth extraction become compulsive. Unlike, people are more particular about their regular medical checkup, which does not include dental checkups. The importance of regular visits to a Dentist for regular routine checkup by general mass is yet to be appreciated,
The main reason for this negligence is due to the fact that people in general are not aware about the impact of improper teeth which will also affect their healthy life with improper digestion, irritating behavior, friendly acceptance in a social environment, and complexes with improper appearance. Even Insurance companies do not recognize its importance in their schemes.
There are different shapes & size of the teeth in mouth depending upon the functions to be performed. Teeth help us to chew and digest food. Teeth help to talk and pronounce different sounds clearly. Teeth help to give our face its shape.
Mouth is the “gateway to the body,” bacteria from the teeth and gums can affect your overall health in more ways than one.
True, poor dental hygiene can lead to tooth decay or cavities. Despite what you might think, cavities do not only occur in children. Adults can get them too. The teeth are covered in a hard outer coating called enamel. Every day, a thin film of bacteria (dental plaque) builds up on the teeth which produce bacteria that can eat a hole in this enamel if not removed.
Gum disease is another consequence of poor dental hygiene. When plaque builds up along and under the gum line, infections can occur that harm the gums and the bone that hold the teeth in place. The most severe form of gum disease is known as periodontal disease. In this case, infection has become so severe that bone deterioration can occur, leading to tooth loss.
Bad dental health can be also particularly bad for your social life as well. Halitosis – bad breath – is caused by small food particles that are wedged between the teeth that collect bacteria and emit chemicals such as hydrogen sulfide. This is the same compound which gives rotten eggs their characteristic smell.
Good dental health, though, is not just important for your teeth, gums, and breath. The bacteria that originate in the mouth can travel throughout the body and cause a host of health problems that you may not be aware of.
Heart Disease/Stroke Risk
People with periodontal disease are two times more likely to develop heart disease and arterial narrowing as a result of bacteria and plaque entering the bloodstream through the gums. The bacteria contains a clot-promoting protein that can clog arteries, leading to an increased risk of heart attack..
Increased Risk of Dementia
Tooth loss due to poor dental health is also a risk factor for memory loss and early stage Alzheimer’s disease. One study, published in Behavioral and Brain Functions, found that infections in the gums release inflammatory substances which in turn increase brain inflammation that can cause neuronal (brain cell) death.
Bacteria from periodontal disease can travel through the bloodstream to the lungs where it can aggravate respiratory systems, especially in patients who already have respiratory problems. A study published in the Journal of Periodontology uncovered a link between gum disease and an increased risk of pneumonia and acute bronchitis.
"By working with your dentist or periodontist, you may actually be able to prevent or diminish the progression of harmful diseases such as pneumonia or COPD," says Donald S. Clem, DDS, president of the American Academy of Periodontology. "
The link between gum disease and diabetes appears to be a two-way street. In addition to having a higher risk gum disease due to diabetes, periodontal disease may also make it more difficult to control blood sugar, putting the patient at risk for even more diabetic complications
Few Things which you may like to Know?
What is plaque?
Plaque is a thin, sticky film of bacteria that constantly forms on your teeth.
How can plaque cause decay?
When you eat foods containing sugars and starches, the bacteria in plaque produce acids, which attack tooth enamel. The stickiness of the plaque keeps these acids in contact with your teeth. After constant acid attack, the tooth enamel breaks down forming a hole or cavity. Cavities usually do not hurt unless grow very large and affect nerves or cause tooth fracture. Untreated cavity can lead to infection in tooth called abscess or swelling.
How can plaque cause gum disease?
If plaque is not removed by brushing, it can harden into something called ‘calculus' - another name for it is 'tartar'. As calculus forms near the gum line, the plaque underneath releases harmful poisons causing the gums to become irritated and inflamed. The gums start to pull away from the teeth and the gaps become infected. If gum disease is not treated promptly, the bone supporting the teeth is destroyed, and healthy teeth can become loose and fall out. Severe gum disease can lead to teeth falling out and needing to be replaced.
How can I prevent gum disease?
It is important to remove plaque and bits of food from around your teeth as this will stop your gums from becoming inflamed and swollen, and becoming infected. If you leave plaque on your teeth it can harden into tartar, which can only be removed by the dental team. It is important to keep up your regular appointments so that your teeth can have a thorough cleaning if they need it.
How do I know if I have gum disease?
Gum disease is generally painless, even though it damages the bone supporting the teeth. Gum disease (gingivitis) will usually show itself as red, swollen gums that bleed when you brush or clean between your teeth. Many people are worried when they notice their gums are bleeding and then brush more gently, or stop altogether. In fact, it is important that you continue to clean regularly and thoroughly if you are to fight the gum disease. If the bleeding does not go away within a few days see your dental team to ask for their advice.
Can my diet help?
Many people think that it is a high level of sugar in your diet that causes decay, but this is not true. It is how often you have sugar in your diet, not the amount, that causes problems. It takes up to an hour for your mouth to cancel out the acid caused by eating and drinking sugar. During this time your teeth are under attack from this acid. It is therefore important to limit the number of attacks by having sugary foods and drinks just at mealtimes. Chewing sugar-free gum and drinking water after meals or snacks can also help to cancel out the acid more quickly.
As well as causing decay, sugary fizzy drinks, fruit juices, sports drinks, and wine can be acidic - which can also cause ‘dental erosion'. This is when the acid in foods and drinks gradually wears away the hard enamel coating of the tooth. This may lead to the tooth being sensitive.
If use of mouthwash helps?
A fluoride mouthwash can help prevent tooth decay. Your dental team may recommend an antibacterial mouthwash to help control plaque and reduce gum disease. If you find that you are regularly using a mouthwash just to freshen your breath see your dental team, because bad breath can be a sign of unhealthy teeth and gums or of poor general health.
Why is brushing important?
Daily brushing and cleaning between your teeth is important because it removes plaque. If the plaque isn't removed, it continues to build up, feeding on the bits of food left behind and causing tooth decay and gum disease.