Healthy primary and permanent teeth are important for health and well-being throughout life. Tooth decay and periodontal disease are the most common dental diseases, yet they are largely preventable. Proper self- and professional oral care, combined with a healthy lifestyle and avoiding risks, such as high sugar consumption and smoking, can be your ticket to good oral health.
Some diseases which affect the entire body may first become apparent because of mouth lesions or other oral problems. Prevention of build-up of plaque in and around your teeth and gums, bad breath, tooth decay, and gum disease should be the goal of a proper oral hygiene.
- Worldwide, 60–90% of school children and nearly 100% of adults have dental cavities.
- Severe periodontal (gum) disease, which may result in tooth loss, is found in 15–20% of middle-aged (35-44 years) adults.
Common risk factors for dental diseases
1. Tobacco: It increases the risk of oral cancer, smoker’s palate, periodontal disease, premature tooth loss, gingivitis, staining, halitosis (bad breath) and loss of taste and smell.
2. Alcohol: It can cause cancers of the mouth, larynx, pharynx and oesophagus, and periodontal disease. The acidity and high sugar content of alcoholic drinks can cause tooth erosion and decay. Excessive consumption of alcohol can lead to mouth and teeth injury.
3. Excess Sugar and Unhealthy Diet: Sugar is a leading risk factor for tooth decay and extended periods of micro-nutrient deficiencies can lead to serious oral symptoms.
Prevention and Treatment
- Spend at least three minutes brushing your teeth two times a day with a fluoride toothpaste.
- Use floss at least once a day every day to clean between your teeth.
- Replace your toothbrush every three or four months.
- Use a mouthwash to prevent gum disease, mouth odour and tooth decay or cavity.
- Decrease sugar intake, eat a balanced diet and limit between-meal snacks.
- Stop tobacco use and decrease alcohol consumption.
- Wear protective sports and motor vehicle equipment to reduce the risk of facial injuries.
- Prevent dry mouth which can cause tooth decay and other mouth infections by sipping water or sugarless drinks.
- Don’t forget to schedule regular dental check-ups with your dentist.
Did You Know?
Your oral health might contribute to various diseases and conditions and studies have proved that periodontitis is linked to premature birth and low birth weight.
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- FDI, World Dental Federation. Accessed on June 28, 2016.
- National Institutes of Health. Accessed on June 28, 2016.
- World Health Organization. Accessed on June 29, 2016.
- Mayoclinic. Accessed on June 29, 2016.