You will surely agree with me that a healthy smile is a bonus at any given age. Oral health is the practice of keeping your teeth and mouth clean to avoid dental problems such as bad breath, gingivitis and dental cavities. You don’t have to own any degree or certificate in oral health to keep your mouth and teeth clean and healthy, you only need the basics such as knowing how to identify the common oral ailments and some common oral health practices.
Common oral diseases and ailments
– Bad breath: bad breath, also called halitosis, can be really embarrassing. Bad breath is usually associated with certain dental conditions. Gum disease, oral cancer, cavities, bacteria on the tongue and dry mouth are some of the problems that cause bad breath. Using mouthwash only covers the odor for a while but you do need to see a dental doctor for a comprehensive checkup.
– Tooth decay: also known as cavities, is the second most common oral problem. Tooth decay develops when plague combines with sugars or starches found in foods we eat. The combination forms acids that attack the tooth enamel. The best practice to prevent tooth decay is by flossing, brushing twice a day and attending regular dental checkups.
– Gum (periodontal) disease: studies reveal that gum disease is linked to strokes and heart attacks. Regular checkups, daily brushing and flossing play a major role on controlling the ailment.
– Oral cancer: this is a serious and quite deadly disease that ails millions of people. Oral cancer affects the mouth, throat or lips and can be effectively controlled if diagnosed in the early stage.
– Mouth sores: They do come in different shapes and sizes and can be quite bothersome. They are however not a serious medical disorder and you don’t need to worry about them unless they last for over two weeks. They usually disappear after a short while. The commonest mouth sores are fever blisters, canker sore, cold sores, thrush and ulcers.
– Tooth sensitivity is basically the experiencing of discomfort or pain on the teeth from contact with cold air, sweets, hot drinks, ice cream or cold drinks. In extreme cases, tooth sensitivity can be experienced even during brushing or flossing.
– Dry mouth, also known as Xerostomia, is a condition that causes drying in the mouth and results in difficulty to swallow, eat, speak or taste. This dryness results from the failure of the salivary glands to work properly. Luckily, there is treatment readily available if most of the local dental clinics.
Best oral health practices
Most dental diseases and general ailments result from bad dental practices and failure to observe routine medical and hygiene routines. Good oral health practices helps greatly in cutting down the occurrence of bacterial, fungal and other related disease.
These practices include:
– regular brushing using appropriate brushing techniques, twice a day is the most recommended.
– flossing daily
– eating balanced diet and limiting intake of sugary snacks and foods
– rinsing your mouth with a fluoride mouthwash as may be advised by the dentist.
– use of dental products with fluoride as one of the ingredients, including toothpaste
– provide plenty of milk in the diet to supplement calcium for strengthening the teeth.
– avoid smoking as it can cause oral cancer, bad breath, stained teeth and other dental complications
Observing the above oral health practices in addition to regular dental checkups highly reduces the cases of chronic dental disease attacks and general ailments. It is worth noting that poor oral health can adversely affect the health condition of other body parts and should therefore be closely monitored and remedied where necessary.