Maintaining dental and oral health is one of the most important things in terms of good personal hygiene. Our mouth or the oral cavity is the doorway to our internal system. Healthy oral cavity decides how beautiful and healthy our body is. Dental health deals with good dental practices that maintain good hygiene, health and overall well-being.
Dental Health and Oral Health
The oral cavity comprises teeth, gums, soft tissues, hard tissues, tongue, and lips. This system works in harmony and instigates the initial digestion process, helps in speech and supports facial muscles. This intricate task needs good maintenance too and we follow healthy dental practices.
Maintaining good dental health is a lifetime commitment. Healthy habits involve proper brushing, use of dental floss, mouthwash, tongue scraping, oil pulling, gargles etc. Eating habits play a key role. Too much intake of refined sugars, and sticky food that stays on the tooth surface for a long period can aggravate dental issues commonly caries or cavities, gingivitis or infected gums.
Increasing Gum Problems
These issues can further lead to severe dental problems like pain, swelling, loss of teeth, periodontitis referring to bone loss and ultimately loss of function. Dental problems can impact overall health. Local infection can hamper systemic function. Bacteria from any dental infection can contribute to stroke, infective endocarditis.
The co-existence of diabetes and dental disease is well understood. Regular dental check-ups can prevent and rectify any possible dental problems. The majority of issues can be resolved by prompt interventions. But as prevention is better than cure, we come up with the best homemade remedies.
Right routine self-care methods and authentic home remedies can enhance the physiology and functioning of the oral cavity. Henceforth we discuss good dental practices and home remedies that have been followed by us for hundreds of years and some are well-established in our ancient literature.
What Are The Major Dental Problems?
Minute, unnoticeable changes in our oral cavity can start the progression of pathology like initial plaque deposition if left untreated can cause gingivitis or later periodontitis. Initial pit caries or any fracture of the tooth later progress to abscess, or other lesions.
Hence ‘time’ plays a major role in the initiation and progression of a dental issue. How long food as a substrate is present on the surface of teeth decides how bacteria can harm the tissue and cause damage. Many systemic diseases and syndromes can present as dental diseases like autoimmune diseases, diabetes, endocrine disorders, some cancer etc. so the first signs of complaint should not be ignored. Some early signs and symptoms that need attention are,
- You constantly experience bad breath and a bad taste of food while you eat.
- Tooth decay (dental caries). This is a very basic condition when bacteria feed on the sugar and starch that remains in your mouth after eating and not cleaning it properly.
- Gingivitis is a condition where your gums are inflamed and bleed.
- Periodontitis is an advanced gum and bone disease where pathogens can cause severe destruction of bone and surrounding dental tissue when not treated can cause early tooth loss.
- Oral ulcers are painful sores of the mouth which may or may not be a cause of underlying systemic problems.
- Erosion of tooth enamel is commonly seen in people who consume acidic food like soda, citrus fruits, and sports drinks.
- Fractures of tooth/teeth can lead to the death of vital tissue. Severe cases can split the tooth.
- Sensitivity can be multifactorial but causes discomfort to the patient.
- Oral cancer can affect anyone. But the potential risk of developing one is associated with tobacco chewing, cigarettes, pipes etc.
- Bad breath or halitosis can be due to food, or poor dental hygiene. it may be a reason for concern in cases of throat infections, respiratory diseases, diabetes, acid reflux, and gastric complications.
While keeping our teeth healthy, we should also take care of our immune system. You will be surprised to know that oral problems are the first symptoms if you have a weak immune system, to know more about it click here.
5 Most affordable ways to keep your teeth and gums healthy
1. Keep good oral hygiene
- It is a well-known fact that has been in the back of your mind since you were born to brush twice a day, once after walking up and once before going to bed. This practice is the basis of your oral hygiene because it will keep your mouth clean throughout the day and night. Use fluoride toothpaste and change your toothbrush within 3 months of use or depending on your teeth condition check this with your doctor.
- Use of dental floss, this will help to remove anything which can get stuck between your teeth. Remember longer it stays in your mouth greater will be the problem. Older people who find flossing tough can try water spray dental floss (these are readily available in the market).
2. Eat that diet that promotes your healthy teeth and gums
Some foods are acidic that can damage your teeth in the long run, if we cannot avoid them just minimize their use. Foods like Pickles, Vinegar, and Lemons are more likely to cause cavities. Eat foods that are rich in Calcium, Phosphorus and Vitamin D like dairy products, broccoli, spinach and fish. Avoid eating sugar-rich food, sodas, juices, sports drinks and too much starch. Always rinse your mouth with water after you eat anything.
3. Avoid using tobacco in any form
Smoking a cigarette and even chewing tobacco may cause various oral problems like dry mouth. It also weakens your immune system which in turn makes it harder to fight a disease of teeth and gum.
4. Regular dental check-ups
Just keeping in mind all these habits to keep your gums and teeth disease free won’t help you but visiting your dentist every 6 months, or as per need in case you already have a dental problem.
5. Use fluoride treatment and prevent transmitting oral herpes
Regularly using fluoride-rich toothpaste can help you strengthen your teeth and helps prevent tooth and dental caries. Avoid sharing food, utensils, and drinks and avoiding kissing an unknown can help in transmitting oral herpes.
6 most effective home remedies to keep your teeth and gums healthy
1. Oil pulling
Oil pulling is a traditional remedy believed to cure around 30 systemic diseases when practised regularly. In Ayurveda, this technique is mentioned as ‘gandoosha.’ The mouth is to be filled with oil (virgin coconut oil is preferred) and swished around the mouth early in the morning before breakfast. This simple procedure lasts for around 20 minutes. After this, the oil needs to be spit out, and the mouth is cleaned with warm saline water. Gum massage can also be performed.
2. Gargle with warm salt water
A study has suggested that if you gargle your mouth with the solution of 1 cup of warm water with ½ tablespoon of salt it can act as an anti-inflammatory and help to soothe the gums.
Note: Please do not swallow the solution
3. Use lemon peel and turmeric paste
Cut the lemon in half, take the juice out, probably drink it (it will benefit you) and spread turmeric powder on the inner part of its peel, brush your teeth with it. This will give you clean bright and white-looking teeth instantly. Use it regularly for more benefits. Always use lukewarm water to rinse your mouth. I have used this remedy and believe me it worked.
4. Use of Guava leaves
Guava leaves have antibacterial properties in them, if we chew them regularly not only are they good for our gut health but they will also help us in controlling the depositing of plaque.
5. Using clove
Clove is readily available in our house. It is believed that it will help during a toothache, and clove is considered pain relieving. It is also good for our overall system and helps us in controlling our blood sugar levels, and relieves headaches, colds and coughs. Studies also suggested that it is anti-inflammatory so it can help during bad gum conditions and also helps prevent plaque.
6. Using turmeric is bliss in bad tooth and gums condition
Turmeric is treated as the best anti-inflammatory thing which is readily available. It is also antimicrobial and anti-fungal. It can help you in,
- Plaque deposit, gingivitis.
- Bleeding gums.
Note: If you are allergic to turmeric do not use it.
By now, we are well aware of the fact that there is so much importance given to oral health. Simple gum and teeth problems tell us more about our overall health. A weak immune system may result in weaker teeth and gums, we have to build it strong to avoid such problems. As discussed, we can protect our gums and teeth in many ways. Regular visiting your dentist is also considered to be a healthy practice.