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Dental Care

Five Golden rules for healthy teeth

  1. Eat foods that have vitamins and minerals. They are not always costly.
  2. Do not eat sweets or sticky foods in between meals.
  3. Brush your teeth after every meal to remove plaque.
  4. Use a good toothbrush and toothpaste.
  5. Visit your dentist regularly-once in every 6 months

Brushing correct way

  1. Hold the brush just under the gum line at an angle of 45, move the brush over the teeth and gum. Always brush from gums to the teeth. Repeat for each tooth.
  2. Use tip of tooth brush behind each front tooth, both top and bottom.
  3. Brush the insides of each tooth using the same action in step 1,ie from gums to the teeth.
  4. Finally massage your gums with your fingers after brushing and gently brush your tongue too. Do no use metal tongue cleaners.

How Gum disease starts

Gum disease, technically known as periodontal disease ,is the major cause of tooth loss in adults. Here is how the disease starts and progresses.

  1. Healthy gums closely grip the sides of the teeth anchoring them firmly in place with the help of bone.
  2. Unremoved plaque produces acids and bacterial irritants. It also hardens into calculus, commonly called Tartar which presses around the gums causing inflammation and bleeding .This condition is known as Gingivitis.
  3. If untreated, the infection spreads to the bone supporting the tooth. Pus is formed, the bone begins to erode and eventually , the tooth may be lost. This condition is called Periodontitis or Pyorrhea.

How teeth decay

  1. Plaque turns food particles stuck between the teeth into acid which attacks the tooth enamel. With repeated acid attacks ,the enamel wears away and a cavity is formed.
  2. Once a cavity forms the decay spreads to the next layer- the dentine. But if the cavity is filled by a dentist the decay can be stopped.
  3. If the cavity is not treated at the dentine stage, the decay spreads deeper into the pulp and this can be very painful.
  4. In the last stage the decay spreads to the root and causes an abscess accompanied by severe pain. At this stage, only Root Canal treatment can save the tooth. In some cases the tooth may have to be extracted.

Early Signs of Oral Cancer

A white or red patch in the mouth or on the tongue, a painless ulcer which does not heal for over two weeks, difficulty in eating, drinking and speaking are some of the early signs of Oral Cancer. If these symptoms appear, you must see your dentist immediately.

How to Avoid Oral Cancer

Since Oral Cancer is very common in India extreme precaution is suggested.

  1. Avoid bad habits like chewing tobacco, gutka, smoking. These habits increase your chances of getting oral cancer dramatically.
  2. Eat a diet rich in fibre, fresh fruits and vegetables, fish and dairy products such as butter milk.
  3. Visit your dentist twice a year.
  4. Brush twice a day and maintain good oral hygiene.