6 Medical Problems Caused By Poor Oral Hygiene

poor oral hygieneWe have been taught that we should take good care of our teeth and our gums. If everything is good inside our mouth or what we put in our mouth, we can assure ourselves that all will be fine inside the rest of our body. Poor oral hygiene can lead to many medical problems. Maybe that’s why our mouth is known as the ‘gateway to the body’.

Practicing simple steps like brushing and flossing can save your teeth and help you maintain a good oral hygiene. A balanced diet without sticky and sugary foods and routine dental visits are also few good habits that one should adopt as a part of a healthy lifestyle.

Should we do all these things just for clean teeth and fresh breath? Or is there anything more that we want to gain? Is there anything that we want to prevent from happening? Yes, we are prone to a few medical problems if we fail to maintain a good oral hygiene. Six of them are listed below-

  1. Heart disease– Those who have gum disease, also known as periodontitis, are more prone to a cardiac stroke or to develop a heart disorder. Through our gums the harmful oral bacteria can enter the bloodstream and cause the narrowing of our blood vessels over time. This results in heart disorder.
  2.  Dementia– If you lose your teeth due to dental decay you are at an increased risk of developing dementia (memory loss). A study has revealed that gum infection causes the release of certain inflammatory cells that might lead to inflammation of brain cells and then death of those cells eventually.
  3. Respiratory problems– Oral bacteria may cross the blood barrier by entering the lungs and cause respiratory problems like acute bronchitis or pneumonia. Those who are already suffering from respiratory problems are found to have aggravated episodes due to oral infection.
  4. Diabetes– A diabetic is highly susceptible to severe gum infection and tooth loss if they do not take care of their oral hygiene. This is because a diabetic has a compromised immunity and they can pick up infection from anywhere because their immunity cells do not function properly.
  5. Erectile problem– It has been reported that those men who had periodontal disease were 7 times more likely to have erectile dysfunction than those men who kept their oral health in a good status. This is because oral bacteria percolates into the blood infected gums and travels down to the genital area.
  6. Cancer– Those who are suffering from gum disease are at a high risk of developing cancer of kidneys, pancreas and blood.

Hence, it is essential for us to practice oral hygiene methods to save ourselves from such devastating side effects.

Neem: A Natural Oral Care Provider

Have you ever thought about times long ago before the multi-tufted toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste were invented? How did a person keep his teeth clean and cavity free? It might be really difficult to imagine those times, let alone to think about living them. Still, if you happen to be in a landscape where the chances of finding a toothbrush and toothpaste are thin, what will you do?

Get a Neem twig! You heard it right; a simple Neem twig can be the solution for any oral hygiene problem in a developing country. In a few Middle Eastern countries and Asian countries, Neem is considered to be the most cheaply available option to clean teeth and is used widely.neem

Neem is a mahogany tree and grows in good number in tropical and semi-tropical climatic conditions. It is found in India and its neighboring countries like Bangladesh, Pakistan, Myanmar and Sri Lanka. The Neem tree is known for its numerous medicinal properties and is used to treat various ailments. Neem is considered to have miraculous powers as each and every tree part is utilized for medicinal purposes. Twigs are used as toothbrushes, bark is known to cure gum problems, the oil extracted can be converted to soap and is extremely good for the skin. Neem leaves are also used on skin especially when people suffer from chickenpox. These leaves have been reported to produce a soothing effect on the blisters formed at that time. Neem or its derivatives used have not been endorsed by the ADA (American Dental Association), but keep in mind, they are used due to their various benefits related to our body as a whole.

The way of using a Neem twig for oral care is fairly simple. The person has to chew the twig for few seconds so that the end of the twig frays and gives a look of a single-tufted toothbrush. Now, this end is rubbed against the teeth to remove plaque. Due to the widespread use of Neem in developing countries, various studies were carried out to understand the authenticity of the product. The results came out indicating that Neem has excellent anti-tartar, anti-decay and antibacterial properties. Therefore, Neem twigs can be used safely as oral hygiene tools in areas where one does not have access to the modern day oral care tools due to either financial constraints or unavailability.

 

Your Mouthwash Does Much More Than Freshen Your Breath

mouthwashMost people gargle mouthwash each day to keep their mouth and breath fresh and minty. But mouthwash does much more than freshen your breath.  Dentists say mouthwash and other rinses can be beneficial to overall oral health and an important part of daily oral hygiene. People gargle mouthwash thinking it will get rid of bad breath, but that is the minty liquid’s least effective function.

There are two types of mouthwashes, cosmetic and therapeutic.  Cosmetic rinses reduce and help control bad breath, but don’t really kill the bacteria that can cause bad breath.  Therapeutic rinses are made to reduce tooth plaque, inflammation of the gums and they neutralize the acidity of the mouth.  Fluoride and xylitol rinses also help to prevent cavities.

Therapeutic rinses neutralize the pH of the mouth that can lead to tooth decay.  When the bacteria in our mouth consume carbohydrates and sugars, their metabolic waste is acid and this can result in tooth decay.

When purchasing mouthwash, look for rinses that contain xylitol.  This is a naturally occurring sugar alcohol which certain bacteria are unable to metabolize, so it helps to neutralize the acidity. Dentists also recommend looking for rinses that do not contain alcohol as these can dry out the mouth.  A dry mouth can cause bad breath.

Above all, if you have to use excessive amounts of mouthwash to freshen your breath, you probably have an underlying problem.  Be sure to discuss this with your dentist so that you can take care of the situation.

There Is More To Your Mouthwash Than A Minty Taste|Wall Street Journal

How Oral Hygiene Affects The Rest Of Your Body

oral hygieneWe all know by now that our oral hygiene affects the rest of our bodies. In an article by Rachael Rettner from livescience.com, she writes more about this.

Oral hygiene is related to diabetes. Diabetes changes the blood vessels which can weaken the gums and make them more vulnerable to infection. Dentists can play a role in diagnosing diabetes because of this.

Heart disease is linked with periodontal disease as well. A previous study found that people with periodontal disease had a 19 percent increased risk for developing heart disease.

Some other things that oral health are linked to are pregnancy and risk of preterm birth, knee arthritis, respiratory illness and more.  Read the full article here: How Oral Hygiene Affects the Rest of You.

What You Should Know About Mouthwash

Nothing beats the minty fresh breath that comes from using mouthwash. But according to the makers of mouthwash, it not only freshens breath, there are many other health benefits. Unfortunately, there are a few disadvantages to using it as well. Here are some pros and cons15577897-close-up-face-of-beauty-young-woman-lips.

Mouthwash may help to fight gum disease and cut down on cavities. Many washes have fluoride which has been proven to reduce cavities. Using a mouth rinse also helps get rid of plaque and bacteria that can lead to gum disease.

Some have used mouthwash to soothe canker sores, but be careful, if the alcohol content of your mouth rinse is too high, it could actually irritate them. A simple saltwater rinse may be just as effective. Lastly, mouthwash may help you safeguard your pregnancy.  Because it can help reduce the risks of periodontal disease which can lead to preterm, low-weight babies.

A con of mouthwash is that it masks bad breath.  The minty, fresh breath only lasts so long and if you have poor oral hygiene, it is just a coverup.  Mouth rinse has also been linked to oral cancer because of the alcohol. There is no real proof of this, but you should look for a wash that has the ADA seal of acceptance.

To Mouthwash or Not To Mouthwash | Everyday Health