World Oral Health Day is globally celebrated every year on 20th March and it is our duty to emphasize the importance of oral hygiene on this occasion.

The mouth is the window to your entire system. The importance of oral hygiene has always been well understood but awareness is not enough. Majority of the people chose to visit the dentist only in moments of crisis. Paradoxically they fail to realize that a regular check up can save them all the agony, time and extra cost involved in fixing the problem. 

Did you know that major ailments in your body actually manifest in the mouth at their early stages? Oral manifestations like gum diseases, mouth ulcer, bone loss, burning sensation, dry mouth, halitosis, tooth erosions are seen in diabetes,leukaemia, kidney diseases, AIDS, gastritis and oral cancer. Researchers have found that people with periodontal disease are almost twice as likely to have cardiovascular disease and it is more risky than those with high cholesterol. Pregnant women with periodontitis are often associated with preterm labor and low birth weight delivery. Oral health is definitely a reflection of your general health and maintaining the same is vital for your overall well being.

Simple steps to improve your oral health include:

1.  Brush your teeth twice daily with fluoridated toothpaste and replace your toothbrush every three months. Avoid using powders as they have high abrasive content and can lead to sensitivity of teeth.

2.  Floss your teeth daily to remove food particles stuck in between the teeth.

3.  Use a mouthwash half an hour before or after brushing to clean the areas inaccessible to the toothbrush.

4.  Water jets or oral irrigators can be used to prevent food impaction between natural teeth or crowns.

5.  Warm saline rinses help in maintaining healthy gums by preventing bleeding and swelling.

6.  Eat a balanced diet and avoid snacking in between the meals. Aerated drinks should be avoided and sweets should be restricted to meals. Always rinse your mouth thoroughly after eating anything. 

7.  Avoid potential risk factors like smoking or chewing tobacco and alcohol consumption.

8.  Schedule a dental appointment every six months for professional cleaning and regular check-up.

Take charge of your oral health and maintain a healthy, functional and beautiful mouth from childhood into old age to lead a better quality life.   

Intimate connection between gum disease and cardiovascular disease