The Importance of Oral Hygiene
Proper oral hygiene is crucial not just for your teeth and gums but also for keeping your mind and body healthy and strong. Problems with your teeth and gum can lead to diseases in other parts of your body — including dementia and heart disease.
Regular visits to your dentist can do more than just keeping your smile beautiful. Routine oral check-ups can also tell a lot about your overall health, including whether you are at risk for having a chronic disease or not.
Various research works suggest that your oral health mirrors the state of your body as a whole. For instance, when your mouth is healthy, chances of your overall health to be good are more. On the other hand, if condition of your oral health is poor then you may also get other health problems.
Your mouth is the initial step in the digestive process – you use your teeth to chew food! Practicing first-class oral hygiene habits helps in maintaining durability and functioning of your teeth. Poor oral habits can result in caries and cavities, tooth loss, and infected or inflamed gums, all of which hamper your daily oral activities. All these can lead to teeth pain, and as a result you are less likely to eat fresh, vitamin rich foods which can lead to poor long-term health.
Overall Body Health
Good oral hygiene is necessary for your overall health being. For example:
- A greater incidence of pre-term, low-birth-weight babies has been seen in women with gum disease.
- People with poor oral hygiene have an increased risk of heart disease.
- Oral Infections pose serious complications to other major organs.
- Problems in chewing can lead to irritable bowel syndrome, intestinal failure and other digestive disorders.
What is Proper Oral Hygiene?
By maintaining proper oral hygiene you can get a mouth that looks and smells healthy. This means:
- Your teeth should be clean and free of debris
- Gums should remain pink and do not hurt or bleed when you brush or floss
- There should be no bad breath
If your gums pain or bleed during brushing or flossing, or you are experiencing constant bad breath, visit your dentist as any of these conditions is an indication of a problem.
Your dentist can help you learn proper brushing and flossing techniques to maintain good oral hygiene and can also help point out those areas in your mouth that may require extra attention during brushing and flossing.
How is Proper Oral Hygiene Accomplished?
Having proper oral hygiene is best care you can offer for your teeth and gums. Healthy teeth not only make you more confident but they also make it possible for you to eat and speak properly. Good oral hygiene is essential for your overall well-being.
You can follow some habits to keep good oral hygiene:
- Brushing twice a day for at least 2-3 minutes with proper brushing technique, using fluoridated toothpaste.
- Flossing daily to remove plaque from those areas of your mouth where your toothbrush is not able to reach.
- Eat a healthy diet to provide the nutrients required (vitamins A and C, predominantly) to avoid gum disease.
- Avoid cigarettes and smokeless tobacco, as these are known to contribute to gum disease and may also lead to oral cancer.
- Visit the dentist regularly for routine teeth cleaning and oral examination. This is one of the most successful ways to detect any early signs of cavities and gum disease.
How poor oral health can lead to other problems?
If you do not take right care of your teeth and gums, then it will result in poor oral hygiene which can actually lead to other health issues, which are:
- Oral and facial pain: According to the Office of the Surgeon General, Oro-facial pain may be chiefly due to infection of the gums that support your teeth and because of this infection there can be tooth loss. Gingivitis which is considered as an early stage of gum disease affects more than 75% of the U.S. population.
- Problems with the heart and other major organs: Oral infections can have an effect on major body organs. For instance, the heart and heart valves can become inflamed by bacterial endocarditis, a condition that affects people with heart disease or anyone with damaged heart tissue. And the bacteria responsible for it can be found in an unhealthy mouth.
- Digestion problems: Digestion begins with your mouth. All the physical and chemical processes of digestion starts in the mouth, and any problems here can lead to some dangerous problems like irritable bowel disease, intestinal failure, and other digestive disorders.
Dental hygiene is an essential component of your overall health and well-being. The American Dental Association recommends that you visit your dentist at least once a year to get a routine examination and cleaning. If you have a history of periodontal disease, you should get your teeth cleaned more often in order to prevent the recurrence of infections or disease. You should also have your teeth cleaned more often if you suffer from chronic conditions such as diabetes or heart disease due to their link to dental problems.