Essential Insights into Dental and Oral Health You Should Know

What is meant by oral health?

Dental professionals refer to the “oral cavity ” when they talk about the health of the teeth, gums and mouth. The oral cavity is different from other systems within the body in that it requires active maintenance and care, not passive. Organs such as the kidneys or liver are self-regulating whereas teeth and gums do not.

According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCCR), maintaining a healthy mouth cavity is directly linked to good oral health, which can dramatically increase the chances that your teeth will last a lifetime. Hygiene practices aren’t the only thing that matters when it comes to oral health. There are other factors as well, which will be discussed further in this article.

Why is dental health important?

You may ask yourself, “Why is dental health important?” Most people don’t realize that it isn’t just about having a nice smile. Oral health is important in many ways, as listed below.

  • How to prevent gum disease

Calculus is a term used to describe the condition of gum disease. Also known as gingivitis or periodontitis. Dr. Guneet Alaga explains, “This Calculus can be dangerous because it cannot be removed with regular home hygiene practices.” It can cause bone resorption and tooth loss.

  • Prevents and reduces dental caries (dental cavities)

Cavities can also vary in severity. Fluoride and good dental hygiene can resolve minor caries (incipient) without a dentist’s intervention in some cases. Untreated cavities can lead to more tooth decay and Pulpal involvement, or even periapical infection if they are left untreated. Dentists are required to treat most cavities. They will remove the decayed tooth and place a filling in the tooth.

  • Reduces the risk of oral cancer

Poor dental health has been associated with oral cancer. According to the National Institute of Health, a 2019 study on oral cancer and dental health is linked because “[poor hygiene] aids in the carcinogenic potency of other known carcinogens like tobacco and alcohol.”

  • Reduces the effects of chronic diseases related to oral health

Recent research has shown that poor oral hygiene can exacerbate chronic diseases like diabetes, heart diseases, osteoporosis and auto-immune disorders. It is important to understand that the relationship between oral and chronic diseases is specific to each chronic disease. If you are currently suffering from any of these chronic diseases, or if your risk of developing one is increased in the future, it is worth investigating further.

Now we know the importance of dental health, let’s look at some tips to maintain your gums and teeth in good condition:

  1. Hygiene practices that are regular

The most obvious thing to do is to follow the hygienic guidelines set out by doctors. It is important to brush your teeth at least twice daily with fluoride toothpaste and floss your teeth before going to bed. Fluoride mouthwashes can be used to kill harmful bacteria.

  1. Foods rich in essential nutrients and healthy foods

Health is achieved at least in part from the inside, just as it is for any other organ system. Oral health is dependent on eating foods that are rich in nutrients, especially calcium-rich foods. It is especially important for children and pregnant women.

  1. Avoid sugar and processed foods

The bacteria that cause caries can also be found in processed foods, sugary drinks, and sweetened foods, such as sodas and candy. These bacteria break down the sugars and produce acids, which erode enamel, the outer protective layer of teeth, and lead to decay.

  1. Avoid excessive alcohol and smoking

Smoking increases food residue accumulation on teeth and gums (commonly known as “plaque”), and also increases gum disease risk, since it reduces the blood flow in the oral cavity. Blood flow is vital to combat harmful bacteria. Alcohol is linked to gum disease, tooth decay and cavities. It is also known to dry the mouth out and reduce the saliva production in the mouth.

  1. Regular dental appointments

Regular dental visits are important to maintain overall oral health, even if you take great care of your teeth and gums. Even the most diligent of us can’t reach the areas between teeth. Cleanings with the dental floss can help. Dental visits every six-months will also help to detect and stop potential oral issues in their tracks. You can then receive the necessary treatment.

You should also be aware of the signs that indicate unhealthy gums and teeth. For your convenience, here is a list:

  • Chronic bad breath
  • Bleeding gums
  • Loose Teeth
  • Tooth decay
  • Toothache
  • Oral blisters and sores
  • Gums that are swollen and tender

It is important to get dental treatment as soon as possible if you experience any of these symptoms.