Maintaining excellent dental health is very important as it prevents certain health conditions from developing. Dental health pertains to all aspects of the mouth including the teeth, gums and the tongue. Dental issues not only affect the mouth area but the entire body. Failure to maintain a good oral hygiene can result to dental issues such as gingivitis, caries and tooth loss.
There are various ways of maintaining good oral health. The most basic ways are; practicing oral hygiene techniques, using fluoride, consuming cariogenic foods, and undergoing regular dental examinations. Oral hygiene techniques include brushing and flossing. This helps to keep the teeth, gums and the entire mouth clean. It also helps to remove bacteria that can lead to periodontal disease and other dental health issues.
Eating cariogenic foods such as, milk and cheese contain calcium, casein, and phosphate, which all help prevent demineralization and keep the teeth strong.
Regular dental exams is another very important factor in maintaining oral health as it helps in the detection of issues early and administering early treatment. Also, getting a once a year deep cleaning is also good to do as it removes bacteria that are trapped in places that the toothbrush cannot reach.
Dental health directly affects and contributes to certain health issues and diseases. Three most common conditions affected by poor oral health includes; endocarditis, cardiovascular diseases and diabetes.
ü Endocarditis- Bacteria that form due to gum disease can enter the bloodstream through cuts and abrasions found in the mouth. This bacterium has the potential to damage the heart valve as well as the heart lining.
ü Cardiovascular Disease- some experts believe that blocked arteries, heart disease and stroke are associated with harmful bacteria found in the mouth.
ü Diabetes- Diabetics have a higher risk of developing gum disease and other oral disorders because of their weakened immune system. In a normal person, bacteria can be easily eliminated by the body, whereas in diabetics it is harder for the body to do. In addition, people with diabetes are often unable t heal from infection and wounds, which can result in life threatening mouth infections.
ü Respiratory Disease- Bacteria that are found in the mouth and throat can travel to the lower respiratory tract and cause severe infection. People with certain respiratory conditions, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, have a higher chance of contracting pulmonary infection.