Oral hygiene is an important area of overall health. Today’s lifestyle and eating habits are constantly posing a threat to our oral hygiene, excessive sugar, and poor oral hygiene make it riskier for a person in maintaining his/her oral health. Oral health comprises healthy teeth, breath, smell, smile, and a lot many other components. In this article, we address the importance of maintaining good oral health.
What is oral health?
Oral health refers to the overall hygiene of the mouth consisting of teeth, tongue, breath, smile, the ability to speak, chew, swallow, and the ability to express emotions by way of speaking with ease and without any stress to craniofacial muscles. It is a multi-faceted concept and is not only limited to teeth and breath. Good oral health not only contributes to maintaining good overall health but also adds to a person’s personality. In order to maintain good oral health, one must indulge in oral hygiene and regular dentist visits.
What is oral hygiene?
Oral hygiene refers to the practice of maintaining good oral health, taking care of teeth, tongue, breath, etc., being able to keep the mouth disease-free, helping the mouth to maintain the right amount of bacteria in the mouth that helps in food break down and further in the process of digestion, etc.
Importance of taking care of your oral health:
Prevents from common oral conditions
Good oral health starts from the very basics, that is, cleaning the teeth, adopting proper dental care habits, and awareness of daily dental care. It helps to protect the teeth from developing serious oral health conditions and diseases such as cavities, gingivitis, periodontal diseases, cracked tooth syndrome, and other bruxism-related conditions, etc. good oral hygiene helps in preventing these conditions which can become denser and worse over time.
Interrelationship between oral health and overall health
A healthy mouth affects the overall health of a person, the use of tobacco, consumption of excessive sweets, alcohol, and other drugs, etc., can affect the oral cavity to deteriorate with the passage of time, this can affect the general health. For example, tobacco consumption can cause decay in the oral cavity, in addition to this it also causes lung and throat cancer, thus, it not only affects the oral hygiene of the person but also causes a threat to the other organs of the body. Other implications of consuming tobacco are that the thinking ability of a person is adversely affected, bad breath and low appetite, which infect the general working of the body.
Weak immune system
Poor oral health affects the body by weakening the immune system of a person, which makes one more prone to other diseases, proper oral health affects the digestion of food, if the food is not digested properly it will not be put to proper use by the body and the nutrients will not be absorbed by the body effectively, thus, it is very important to take care of the oral and overall health simultaneously, as they both are interrelated to each other.
Neglecting oral care for a longer period of the term can be harmful, a minor gum disease called gingivitis may develop, which affects the heart of a person. If this condition is not treated, it may lead to periodontitis which is severe gum disease. This form of the disease is linked to a high rate of heart disease as it increases the reach of bacterial infection from the main bloodstream which gradually spreads to the valves.
Saliva contains a number of antibodies that shield our body from pathogens, when mixed with the food help the teeth to break down the food into smaller pieces that help the digestive system to ease the digestion process, apart from this enzymes in saliva help in protecting the body from harmful bacteria and viruses, there are more than 500 species of bacteria and viruses that exist in our mouth and can stick to our teeth and form a condition known as plaque, which may lead to infection in the mouth, thus, it is very important to keep the mouth clean and maintain proper oral hygiene, so that the other bodily functions such as saliva secretion (which is very vital for our good oral health) may remain unaffected.
Link between diabetes and oral health
It is said that the first symptoms of diabetes are visible through oral health, poor oral health makes it difficult to control diabetes, as mouth infections lead to insulin resistance which can disrupt blood sugar levels. Thus, in order to live a healthy life, one must keep a balance between his oral and overall health, indulging in a good oral hygiene routine is not very difficult, at least no compromise should be made with the health because Health is Wealth!