Dr. Pooja Jain
Dental Surgeon and Implantologist
BDS (Hons.) (MAMC - Gold Medalist), PGCOI (Dental Implants)
(Ex Dental Surgeon Moolchand MedCity and Lok Nayak Hospital)
D-138, 1st Floor East of Kailash, New Delhi -110 065
Maintaining Dental Health
Good oral hygiene and healthy teeth are important, not only for looks, but for general health as well. Poor dental health can lead to a variety of dental and medical problems such as gum disease,teeth decay, bone loss, heart disease, and more. There is a limit till where you can take care of your teeth, rest of the maintainence is through regular dental checkups by a dentist.
Benefits of maintainence treatment:
- Prevent Gum Disease
Gum disease is an infection in the gum tissues and bone that keep your teeth in place and is one of the leading causes of adult tooth loss. If diagnosed early, it can be treated and reversed. Regular dental cleanings and check ups, flossing daily and brushing twice a day are key factors in preventing gum disease.
- To Keep Your Teeth
Since gum disease and tooth decay are the leading causes of tooth loss, regular dental check ups restoarion of teeth and cleanings are vital to keeping as many teeth as you can. Keeping your teeth means better chewing function and ultimately, better health.
- To Detect Dental Problems Early
Your dentist and hygienist will be able to detect any early signs of problems with your teeth or gums. Early detection of cavities, broken fillings and gum disease are easily treatable. If these problems go untreated, root canals, gum surgery and removal of teeth could become the only treatment options available.
- To Have a Bright and White Smile
Your dental hygienist can remove most tobacco, coffee and tea stains. During your cleaning, your hygienist will also polish your teeth to a beautiful shine. The result? A whiter and brighter smile!
Other reasons for a regular dental visit As you can see, a good dental examination and cleaning involves quite a lot more than just checking for cavities and polishing your teeth.
• Medical history review: Knowing the status of any current medical conditions, new medications, and illnesses, gives us insight to your overall health and also your dental health.
• Examination of diagnostic x-rays (radiographs): Essential for detection of decay, tumors, cysts, and bone loss. X-rays also help determine tooth and root positions.
• Oral cancer screening: Check the face, neck, lips, tongue, throat, tissues, and gums for any signs of oral cancer.
• Examination of existing restorations: Check current fillings, crowns, etc.
• Oral hygiene recommendations: Review and recommend oral hygiene aids as needed (electric dental toothbrushes, special cleaning aids, fluorides, rinses, etc.).
• Review dietary habits: Your eating habits play a very important role in your dental health.
You should have your teeth checked and cleaned at least twice a year, though your dentist may recommend more frequent visits in case Periodontal disease maintainance cases.
Bad breath (halitosis) can be an unpleasant and embarrassing condition. Many of us may not realize that we have bad breath, but everyone has it from time to time, especially in the morning.
There are various reasons one may have bad breath, but in healthy people, the major reason is due to microbial deposits on the tongue, especially the back of the tongue. Some studies have shown that simply brushing the tongue reduced bad breath by as much as 70 percent.
What may cause bad breath?:
• Morning time – Saliva flow almost stops during sleep and its reduced cleansing action allows bacteria to grow, causing bad breath.
• Certain foods – Garlic, onions, etc. Foods containing odor-causing compounds enter the blood stream; they are transferred to the lungs, where they are exhaled.
• Poor oral hygiene habits – Food particles remaining in the mouth promote bacterial growth.
• Periodontal (gum) disease – Colonies of bacteria and food debris residing under inflamed gums.
• Dental cavities and improperly fitted dental appliances – May also contribute to bad breath.
• Dry mouth (Xerostomia) – May be caused by certain medications, salivary gland problems, or continuous mouth breathing.
• Tobacco products – Dry the mouth, causing bad breath.
• Dieting – Certain chemicals called ketenes are released in the breath as the body burns fat.
• Dehydration, hunger, and missed meals – Drinking water and chewing food increases saliva flow and washes bacteria away.
• Certain medical conditions and illnesses – Diabetes, liver and kidney problems, chronic sinus infections, bronchitis, and pneumonia are several conditions that may contribute to bad breath.
Keeping a record of what you eat may help identify the cause of bad breath. Also, review your current medications, recent surgeries, or illnesses with you dentist.
What can I do to prevent bad breath?
• Practice good oral hygiene – Brush at least twice a day with an ADA approved fluoride toothpaste and toothbrush. Floss daily to remove food debris and plaque from in between the teeth and under the gumline. Brush or use a tongue scraper to clean the tongue and reach the back areas. Replace your toothbrush every 2 to 3 months. If you wear dentures or removable bridges, clean them thoroughly and place them back in your mouth in the morning.
• See your dentist regularly – Get a check-up and cleaning at least twice a year. If you have or have had periodontal disease, your dentist will recommend more frequent visits.
• Stop smoking/chewing tobacco – Ask your dentist what they recommend to help break the habit.
• Drink water frequently – Water will help keep your mouth moist and wash away bacteria.
• Use mouthwash/rinses – Some over-the-counter products only provide a temporary solution to mask unpleasant mouth odor. Ask your dentist about antiseptic rinses that not only alleviate bad breath, but also kill the germs that cause the problem.
In most cases, your dentist can treat the cause of bad breath. If it is determined that your mouth is healthy, but bad breath is persistent, your dentist may refer you to your physician to determine the cause of the odor and an appropriate treatment plan.