Let me tell you a quick story.
Once I visited a dentist with tooth pain. I could not chew food on my left side of the mouth. It hurt. I went to the dentist. He examined my tooth and told me that there was a cavity. I was surprised. He said, I couldn't have seen it in a mirror. I was afraid. The thought of Root Canal Treatment made the tooth pain worse. Luckily, the damage was not that bad. I left home with a filling. But, this is what the dentist told me when I got up from his chair, “if the tooth hurts again come back to me. Let the tooth say if it needs further treatment or not.”
Do you glance at the clock when you brush your teeth?
Unknowingly, your poor oral hygiene is related to hurried morning ablutions. You brush your teeth in a rush and run off. Hardly do you take a minute to rinse your mouth after eating and there are many days when you skip the night time ritual of brushing your teeth.
Well? What are you in for?
Loss of teeth? Nope. Not Just that. There are more ill effects of living with a poor dental hygiene.
Anybody can get a gum disease. Gum disease is caused by bacteria. And bacteria can travel anywhere and create havoc in the body.
Heart Disease (CAD) and clogged arteries
The bacteria which cause gum disease can travel down your throat and enter your system. This can clog the arteries, narrow them cause inflammation in the body and even lead to heart problems. Read more about it at webmd.com.
Increased risk of Infections in Diabetes
Diabetics have low immunity levels and their chances of getting infections are high. If your diabetes is poorly managed, your risk of teeth loss and gum diseases and teeth loss are also higher. As bacteria thrive on sugars it is imperative that you control your sugar for dental health.
Loss of Teeth
The bacteria which cause gum disease are strong guys. They produce toxins which destroy the bone and tissues around the tooth. So not only the tooth get affected but also the tissues around it can get destroyed permanently.
When to Suspect Gum Disease
If you see:
- Bleeding gums (during or after tooth brushing, eating, biting on to hard foods)
- Gums that are swollen and tender
- Halitosis or bad breath which doesn’t improve with home treatment
- Loose teeth
- Signs of pus
Factors that Contribute to Gum Disease
Now, it is very important to know this. This will help you pay more attention to your teeth and gums.
1. Hormonal changes
There are hormonal receptors placed in certain parts of the body. Unfortantely there are some I the gum tissues as well. This makes gums sensitive during hormonal changes. If you are a woman, hormonal changes occur to you during pregnancy, puberty, menstruation and menopause. And there are periods when you can easily develop gum diseases.
2. Chronic illnesses
As gums are a part of the body, any long term illness affecting your body can have an impact on your gums.
Your body has planned a lot of things to protect you. One of the arms it uses is your saliva. Saliva runs in your mouth and keeps it clean. Saliva has teeth protective components which help to prevent oral infections. Certain medications reduce the flow of saliva exposing you to danger.
4. Bad habits
Eating too many sweets, drinking sugary drinks and brushing teeth carelessly are bad. So is smoking and drinking bad for your teeth. Smoking slows down the ability of gum tissues to repair themselves. Alcohol has sugar content and sugar causes tooth decay. Many of you manage to brush once in the morning. You do not floss. You either have no time to floss or don’t consider it important. Rinsing mouth after every time you eat is long forgotten. We just wipe our mouth or if offered, use finger bowls and leave the dining table.
Medications can be changed with the help of the doctor. But, bad habits are something which you can take care of on your own.
MUST DO Tips for Oral Hygiene
- Quit the smoke and the booze for a smile.
- Reduce foods which are sugary.
- Rinse your mouth well after eating and drinking.
- Brush your teeth twice daily without fail.
- Brush your teeth half an hour after the last meal (say, dinner).
- Floss once a day. Flossing is the easiest and the cheapest way to remove plaque buildup.
- Mouthwashes are not as wonderful as they sound. They may kill bacteria but prove harmful for your dental enamel. Use them sparingly.
- Brush your teeth well for two to three minutes. Avoid hard bristled tooth brushes and harsh brushing. Replace your tooth brush every three- to four months. You can also give electric tooth brushes a try!
Remember, a smile begets a smile!