Oral health is part of general health. Oral diseases, not only cause loss of teeth and bad breath; but also affect eating and social life, or even lead to other serious complications.
Common oral diseases include dental caries and periodontitis. The main culprit is dental plaque. It is a sticky substance consisting of bacteria, acid, food debris and saliva, which accumulates on the surface of the teeth.
Inappropriate cleansing of the teeth or detachment of the dental fillings enable dental plaque to accumulate easily and increases the chance of dental caries.
Bacteria in the plaque produce acid by fermenting carbohydrate from food debris. The acid will cause demineralization of the tooth and tooth decay results. Saliva can help to reverse the process. Hence, decrease in saliva secretion due to ageing or medication, frequent eating and drinking will increase the risk of dental caries.
Periodontitis is the inflammation of the tissues that surround and support the teeth. It is mainly caused by dental plaque which accumulates at the gingival margin. There may be gum bleeding, progressive loss of the gums around the teeth, loosening and eventually loss of the teeth.
Periodontitis is caused by many factors. Important risk factors include smoking, poorly controlled diabetes, and inherited (genetic) susceptibility. The risk of periodontitis among smokers is 5 times greater, so if you want to have healthy teeth and gums, do not smoke.
The best way to have good oral health is good regular oral hygiene practice. It includes regular cleansing of the teeth or dentures and regular dental check up.
Dentures may be fixed or removable. They should not be used to chew on hard objects like bone, crab shell or ice. They should be cleaned daily.
Cleansing of removable denture
Cleansing of a fixed bridge
Regular dental check up is essential. The dentist will give advice on oral care and preventive measures for early diagnosis of oral disease. This is more cost effective to prevent the occurrence of severe oral diseases.
Myth 1:Tooth brushing is more effective with hard brush fiber and greater force.
Answer: Wrong. Brushing too hard or with a hard brush will lead to gum recession and expose the root of teeth. Plaque can accumulate easily and result in dental caries.
Myth 2: We can use toothpaste to clean removable denture.
Answer: No, the coarse particles in the toothpaste may damage the parts of removable dentures and should not be used.
Myth 3: Teeth fall out normally with age.
Answer: Loosened teeth is mainly caused by periodontitis. If elders maintain good oral hygiene, they can keep their teeth for a long time.
Oral health is very important. Remember to brush the teeth and dentures properly and have regular check up. Oral problems should be treated early too.