Oral Health and Hygien
Oral Health and Hygiene
The importance of oral health can never be overstated. The truth is, our oral health plays a key factor in our overall well-being.
When we casually talk to a person, the first part of the face that our eyes tend to focus on is the source of the sound he/she is creating as he/she speaks, which is the mouth. As much as the face, the condition of our teeth, to some measure, manifests the value we place on our appearance as much as our overall health.
The state of our teeth and gums reflects how we regard our general physical condition. Thus, it is necessary that we observe proper oral health maintenance practices if we want to look pleasing in the eyes of people and generally feel good ourselves.
Oral health state
Determining oral health condition is not difficult. An individual is said to have healthy teeth and gums if:
- His/Her teeth are clean and free of debris
- Gums are pink and do not hurt or bleed when he/she brushes or flosses
- Bad breath is not a constant problem
What causes bad breath?
Unpleasant breath odor can indicate the presence of dental caries or tooth decay. Tooth decay is caused by the presence of acid eating into the enamel that serves as the protective outer covering of the teeth. The human mouth is home to bacteria that accumulate with the saliva, food debris and other substances.
These microorganisms and other matter now form a film on the surface of the teeth that is called plaque. Plaque easily forms in the cracks or fissures in the back of the teeth as well as between teeth or around dental fillings, attacking and weakening the enamel until tooth decay sets in.
Proper oral hygiene
Observing proper oral hygiene counts as the most important thing you can do for your teeth and gums. Healthy, clean, strong teeth and gums are not only esthetically pleasing but also allow us to speak and eat properly.
An individual can maintain the good condition of his/her teeth and gums by observing this regimen:
- Brushing teeth properly at least twice a day or after every meal
- Eating a balanced diet
- Visiting the dentist regularly
Gum (periodontal) disease
An estimated 80% of adults in the United States are afflicted with gum disease in varying forms and gravity. The most simple gum disease is inflammation, or gingivitis, while the more serious ones such as periodontitis can lead to damage to the bone or tooth loss.
When a person is afflicted with gingivitis, his/her gums become swollen and bleed easily. Observing proper oral hygiene such as brushing and flossing can usually remedy this.
However, if left untreated, gingivitis can lead to periodontitis. Periodontitis is a serious gum infection caused by chronic bacterial infection that affects the gums and bone supporting the teeth.