The IndUS Network e-magazine

Wear a confident smile ...

Oral hygiene awareness ...


All of us know the saying “A smile is a curve that sets everything straight”, but the quality of your smile invariably will reflect your oral hygiene.

Oral Health: This means keeping our mouth and teeth clean and healthy, free of cavities, plaque build-up or gum infections like gingivitis or any infection of the mouth.

Common Oral Conditions

1. Bad breath or Halitosis

This is not a disease, but may be a symptom of a disease like tonsillitis, sinusitis or infected nasal passages. Alcohol, tobacco or pungent foods like onion/garlic etc give raise to bad breath. Decayed food particles within the teeth or a gum disease may also contribute to bad odor of mouth. Unclean, coated tongue with heavy microorganism growth can be the cause too.

Remedy: Cleaning the teeth, dentures, gums and tongue properly and frequently. Not smoking or drinking alcohol. Using non-alcohol based mouth wash.

2. Plaque and Dental Caries

It only takes 20 minutes for plaque build-up, which is a sticky layer formation on the tooth that is formed of food particles, acid, bacteria, and saliva. The acids in plaque dissolve the enamel or outer surface of the tooth and create holes in the tooth, (caries or cavities). Cavities are usually painless until they grow very large and affect the nerves. This can ultimately lead to tooth abscess if untreated.

Remedy: Proper oral hygiene, Frequent cleaning of the mouth will help prevent this condition. When caries happen, it should be treated immediately with filling, crown, or root canal procedure. Early intervention is less painful and less expensive.

3. Gum bleeding

This may happen due to chemical burn or injury from sharp objects or gum inflammation. Also, may occur due to vitamin C deficiency, leukemia, or use of anticoagulation medicines such as aspirin. Bleeding gums can eventually lead to tooth loss.

Remedy: Using soft-bristled tooth brush, removing the bacteria causing inflammation, antibacterial mouthwash, vitamin C supplements, avoidance of citrus fruits, having professional dental cleaning twice a year.

4. Swollen and Receding gums

The gum swells exerting pressure on the teeth and thus loosening it and making it unstable. The plaque or the sticky film on the tooth causes the gums to get infected and to swell. Gum disease and plaque are the major causes for erosion of gum tissue that can cause receding gums and results in exposure of the roots of the teeth. This condition is reversible.

Remedy: Get your dental care provider’s help at the earliest to control the gum inflammation.

5. Tooth Abscess

These form when pus pockets form around the roots of the teeth or in the gum tissue surrounding the teeth. This is a very painful condition requiring the intervention of a dentist. The infection spreads to the surrounding ligaments causing bone loss and ultimately tooth loss. One can experience fevers and chills too.

Remedy: Immediate dentist’s intervention to drain the abscess and antibiotics to cure the inflammation and also pain medicine to control the pain.

6. Oral Cancer

Oral or mouth cancer most commonly involves the tongue, floor of the mouth, cheek lining, (gingiva) gums, lips, or palate (roof of the mouth). Most oral cancers look very similar under the microscope and are called squamous cell carcinoma. These are malignant and do spread rapidly. Watch for any white or red patch in the soft tissues of the mouth, a non-healing ulcer for more than 2 weeks, lumps, or swallowing difficulties, change in voice, swelling or numbness.

Remedy: Prevention is always preferable, so stop smoking, chewing, or drinking alcohol. These are the key risk factors. Once early diagnosis is missed then the treatment may end up with surgery, chemotherapy and/or radiation.

Oral Hygiene Tips

1. Twice- in- a- year dental follow-up.
2. Once-in-2-months tooth brush change.
3. Attend to toothache or any mouth symptoms immediately.
4. Even infants as young as 6-month olds need proper dental follow-up.
5. For oral health, stop chewing tobacco, smoking, or alcohol consumption.
6. Proper brushing technique (watch video), flossing are the basics of oral hygiene.
7. Calcium (500 mg for adults) and vitamins ensure strong, healthy teeth.
8. Sugar is injurious to teeth. Avoid sticky and sugary foods and drinks.
9. Dairy foods, nuts, apple etc are good for teeth health where as acidic foods are not.
10. Snacks between meals must be avoided.

So, folks, eat teeth-healthy, brush thoroughly and wear a big smile!!

Watch the Video: Revisit your brushing technique and pattern!

Dentist help ...

If a patient cannot clean his teeth,
no dentist can clean it for him or her."

~Martin H. Fischer

Disclaimer: The above content is provided for information and awareness purpose only. It is not prescriptive or suggestive or meant to replaces your qualified physician's advice or consultation.