What is oral hygiene?
Oral hygiene is the habit of keeping our teeth clean and our mouth healthy. Our teeth are one of the most precious assets that we possess and maintaining and caring for it should be an indispensable part of our daily routine.
What can be done to maintain oral hygiene?
Dr. David Pendleton, a Rockdale dentist, suggests brushing our teeth twice daily after breakfast and before going to bed. It is also essential to use the right techniques and clean the food stuck between our teeth. He suggests flossing our teeth with a dental floss that suits us. Rinsing the mouth with an antibacterial mouthwash can also help.
What happens if we don’t maintain oral hygiene?
If we do not maintain oral hygiene and clean our mouth correctly, the debris of food and sugar stuck to the tooth surface becomes a breeding ground for bacteria. These bacteria attack our teeth leading to a different kind of dental disease.
What are the four most common dental problems developed due to lack of oral hygiene? How can they be treated?
It is the most common dental problem caused by the buildup of bacteria in our mouth. A biofilm of bacteria keeps developing on our teeth. It is also known as plaque. The bacteria present in dental plaque make acids that lead to tooth decay. Acid is also produced from the food and sugar stuck in between and on the surface of the tooth. It leads to the destruction of the dentine, enamel, and cementum of the tooth causing tooth decay.
Treatment: The treatment of tooth decay depends on the condition of the tooth. The following procedures are offered for tooth decay:
- Dental Fillings: The decayed part of the tooth is removed, and the cavity is filled with dental filling material.
- Root Canal Therapy: If the tooth decay infects the dental pulp, then the dental pulp is removed, and the cavity is stuffed with a dental material, and a dental crown is fixed on the tooth.
- Tooth extraction: If the tooth decay is beyond repair then the dentist has no option but to eliminate the tooth and restore it with a dental implant, bridge or an artificial tooth.
Bad breath is also known as halitosis. It is the second most prevalent dental problem that affects twenty percent of the total global population. The leading cause of foul breath is poor dental hygiene. If food particles are not cleaned properly. They rot in the mouth making sulfur compound which leads to bad breath. Bad breath can also be caused by habits like smoking and drinking. It can also be a symptom of gum disease. Bad breath can lead to embarrassment and affect our self-confidence, so it is vital to seek treatment for it.
Treatment: Learning the right methods of maintaining oral hygiene by a dentist can help. The dentist can suggest professional dental cleaning and scaling. If the cause of bad breath is gum disease or any other dental disease, then the doctor might treat them to control bad breath.
Tooth erosion occurs when the tooth loses its enamel. Enamel is the rigid outer layer of the tooth. It protects the dentin. Tooth erosion exposes the dentin leading to pain and sensitivity. After each meal, an acidic layer is created on the teeth. Our saliva has the power to neutralize the acid and protect the teeth from acid attack. If a person has dry mouth or acid attacks happen too often, then the enamel of the tooth wears off.
Treatment: Usually proper knowledge and guidance by the dentist about tooth erosion help in preventing it, for example not holding an acidic drink in the mouth for long, or drinking acidic beverages only at mealtime. But if the tooth erosion starts posing as a problem then the doctor may suggest dental bonding, and in severe cases, a veneer can be recommended.
Gum disease is also known as periodontal disease is an infection that develops in the teeth supporting tissues due to the action of acids made by plaque. It weakens the gums causing tooth loss. Since it is painless, a patient might not even know that he has a periodontal disease. It has two stages gingivitis and periodontitis. Gingivitis causes bleeding and swelling of the gum. The gum also turns red. If gingivitis is not treated on time, it may lead the infection to reach below the gum line. The infection irritates the gums, and slowly the tissues and bones supporting the teeth start breaking down. Eventually, the tooth loosens up and has to be removed.
Treatment: The dentist may suggest scaling and deep cleaning of the teeth and may also give antibiotics and other medicines to strengthen the gums. In case of gum recession, the dentist can suggest gum grafts.
Preventing dental disease by maintaining oral hygiene is much better than neglecting oral health and spending money to treat the dental problems.