Sometimes I sit and think I’ve seen so many teeth and oral cavities in my life! That its not funny, 18 years of work and approximately 8 hours a day. That’s plenty!
But the one thing that fascinated me right from my academic days and continue to fascinate me even today is how sometimes a patients mouth can tell me a story about them!
When they say the oral cavity is the window to the body... I couldn’t agree more with it.
Ever wondered why your dentist and most advertisements you see harp on brushing, flossing and plaque reduction and germs! These terms are actually deeply linked to your overall well being.
The Oral Cavity is teeming with millions of bacteria! Most of these are however harmless... unless they increase in proportion where they can take dangerous proportions and cause problems! So the brushing flossing regime is more important than you think... Brush and floss... keep the bacteria under control ,don’t let them multiply and chances are you’re going to lead a much healthier life !
Got a Medical Condition?
If you suffer from any of the medical conditions listed below you need to be extra careful about your Oral Health
Heart Diseases: Research has shown oral bacteria may cause inflammation and infection which may be linked to and cause or aggravate heart diseases ,stroke or clogged arteries.
Pregnancy : Regular Dental evaluation and are a must during pregnancy. There are plenty of hormonal changes your body is going through! The gums are the first to get affected. Make sure you don’t have a gum problem. Gum problems can cause premature birth and low birth weight. So make sure you have an impeccable oral condition during those nine months.
Endocarditis : Is a condidton where the lining of the heart is damaged. Bacteria travelling from the mouth into the blood stream and onto the damaged heart wall can cause irreversible damage. Sometimes, life threatening. Make sure your dentist is aware of a situation like this. Patients with Endocarditis need to be treated with utmost care and under antibiotic cover
Diabetes : You need to maintain very good Oral Care if you’re a diabetic patient . Research shows the gums are more prone to infection, bone loss is more rapid and healing with even routine dental procedures can be greatly delayed leading to early loss of teeth and more complications with dental surgical work
HIV/AIDS :These patients are generally more immune compromised and the smallest bit of neglect can cause painful oral sores, non healing ulcers. Good Oral health for these patients is mandatory not optional.
Osteoporosis : If you have osteoporosis chances are there may be some damage to your jaw bones with the medication prescribed for Osteoporosis. Be judicious with all your medication and don’t forget to see your dentist as a routine.
The impact of oral health on the body is a relatively new area of study. Some other mouth-body connections under current investigation include:
Rheumatoid Arthritis. Treating periodontal disease has been shown to reduce pain caused by rheumatoid arthritis.
Lung Conditions. Periodontal disease may make pneumonia and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease worse, possibly by increasing the amount of bacteria in the lungs.
Obesity. Two studies have linked obesity to gum disease. It appears that periodontitis progresses more quickly in the presence of higher body fat.
Quick Tips to Protect Your Oral Health
- Brushing /Flossing : Keep the bacterial activity under control with brushing and flossing however clichéd it may sound. If you suffer from a condition you need to be even more cautious and careful.
- Medications –certain medications — such as decongestants, antihistamines, painkillers, diuretics and antidepressants — can reduce saliva flow.
- Saliva washes away food and neutralizes acids produced by bacteria in the mouth, helping to protect you from microbial invasion or overgrowth that might lead to disease.
- Drink plenty of water if salivary flow is reduced …its helps to keep your oral cavity squeaky clean !.
- Illness – Just recovered from an illness, sinusitis, cold? hange your tooth brush. Research suggests you could be re introducing all the bacteria into your mouth and increasing susceptibility
- Tobacco /Smoking: Reduce blood flow to the moth by constricting the blood vessels. Surgical healing in your mouth may get delayed or painful. Tobacco and smoking are an absolute no.
I'm hoping you get more serious with brushing.
Till I see you again next week, I'll sign off for now.