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Teeth cleaning: how often should you get it and why?

Endocarditis is a life-threatening condition in which the inner lining of the heart valves gets infected by bacteria in the bloodstream after having detached from the intestines or, more commonly, from the mouth and throat.

Teeth cleaning: how often should you get it and why?
According to the company, another problem that arises in the industry is the high expectations of patients who are unable to keep a regular tap on their progress. (File)

By Dr. Mohender Narula

Oral health is a reflection of our overall health. Additionally, oral issues can influence the rest of the body. The mouth is the home to millions of bacteria, most of which may not cause much harm to the individual. However, the mouth is the entry point to the digestive and respiratory tracts. Dental hygiene practices of brushing the teeth, using a tongue scraper, flossing, and routine dentist visits will keep the diseases at bay. Poor oral hygiene results in oral health issues like dental cavities, gum problems, and bad breath; the microbes can travel into the body, causing grave implications on the individual’s overall health.

Dental and oral health are interlinked. Medications for conditions like the common cold, allergies, and pain have oral manifestations. Decongestants, anti-allergic medications, and antidepressants decrease the amount of saliva in the mouth. Saliva is a vital component that helps us with our speech, digesting the food, mixing the food, and as an antibacterial by neutralizing the acids in the mouth. Reduction in the level of saliva causes dry mouth, which increases bacterial activity and contributes to oral health issues.

Immunocompromised conditions diminish the body’s natural resistance to germs. Multiple oral manifestations of AIDS include xerostomia, or dry mouth, candidiasis, a type of fungal infection, necrotizing ulcerative periodontitis, which involves the loss of periodontal tissues surrounding the teeth, and Kaposi’s Sarcoma, a type of cancer that forms in the lining of the blood and lymph vessels and manifests as painless purple spots at various locations in the mouth. Immunocompromised persons have an even greater need to adhere to a stringent oral hygiene regimen.

The oral microbiome can cause cardiovascular conditions. Endocarditis is a life-threatening condition in which the inner lining of the heart valves gets infected by bacteria in the bloodstream after having detached from the intestines or, more commonly, from the mouth and throat. The clumps of bacteria attaching to heart valves can cause abscesses and tissue damage, impeding the normal functioning of the heart. The bacterial clots could travel to the kidney, lungs, and brain and be fatal. Poor dental health increases the risk of endocarditis and related cardiac conditions, which can be kept at bay by adhering to a meticulous oral hygiene regimen.

Typically, the pathogens that can cause respiratory problems have been identified in the dental plaque of patients admitted to hospitals. The bacteria inhabiting the periodontal tissue that the teeth to the bones also act as reservoirs for the pathogens that cause respiratory diseases. Aspiring these microbes into the lungs may cause severe conditions like pneumonia and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). These potentially lethal illnesses manifest initially as breathing difficulties, coughing, and wheezing. Poor oral hygiene may increase the likelihood of developing risk of respiratory infections.
Oral health is often neglected during pregnancy. Poor dental health in a pregnant woman can lead to early delivery, endangering the child’s health, low birth weight, and preeclampsia, endangering both the mother and child’s health. Poor oral health also causes localized problems in the mother’s oral cavity, such as loose teeth, pregnancy tumours, dry mouth, dental erosions, changes in hormonal levels, gum disease, and dental decay. Good oral health is therefore essential to ensure the good health of the mother and the child. Those with diabetes, bone difficulties, and mental health disorders should pay special attention to their oral health.

Diabetes is strongly associated with periodontal issues. People with uncontrolled diabetes are more susceptible to inflammation of the gums and periodontal. If this infection persists, it can further spread to the nearby bones and cause loosening or loss of teeth. People with diabetes also have a lower healing rate, which further complicates the issue. Individuals with periodontal conditions additionally have problems in controlling their diabetes. Proper dental hygiene significantly reduces the risk of infections and diseases in the oral cavity. Individuals with mental health conditions are at a greater risk of oral health conditions due to poor oral health conditions and a lack of proper nutrition. The dental concerns would be exacerbated by a history of smoking, alcohol consumption, psychostimulants, substance abuse, and financial problems—progressive conditions like Alzheimer’s disease can manifest as deteriorating dental health over time.

Good oral health is vital for maintaining oral and general health. Brushing one’s teeth twice using a soft-bristled toothbrush is recommended. Utilizing supplemental oral healthcare products like a tongue scraper, flossing, and mouthwash is essential for comprehensive oral care. Food and Diet play a crucial role in an individual’s health. Foods rich in Vitamin C and Vitamin D are beneficial for oral health.

More importantly, to ensure good oral health, a regular visit to a dentist is crucial for preventive dental care and early detection and treatment of any developing conditions. Maintaining good oral hygiene is a lifetime commitment and is vital for overall health. A hearty, beautiful smile is the best accessory a person can wear.

(The author is the Dental expert & Founder and Chairman, MyDentalPlan Healthcare Pvt. Ltd. Views expressed are personal and do not reflect the official position or policy of FinancialExpress.com.)

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