The word oral refers to the mouth. Each year the World celebrates World Oral Health on 20th March (#WOHD) to highlight the need to keep ones mouth healthy always.
Today, i will want to throw more light on the seriousness of this matter, here are some 10 reasons why you may need to be concerned and seek to know your oral health status today.
2. Oral health is not only about healthy smile: Although we all want a close-up flashy smile with a star on our teeth. Remember that oral health means much more than healthy teeth. It means being free of chronic oral-facial pain conditions, oral and pharyngeal (throat) cancers, oral soft tissue lesions, birth defects such as cleft lip and palate, and scores of other diseases and disorders that affect the oral, dental, and craniofacial tissues, collectively known as the craniofacial complex. A dentist near you will be able detect and identify any anomaly.
3. The mouth is a mirror of the body: A thorough oral examination can detect signs of nutritional deficiencies as well as a number of systemic diseases, including microbial infections, immune disorders, injuries, and some cancers. The medications to treat a systemic disease like hypertension, diabetes, seizures etc side effects can be seen in the mouth. Indeed, the phrase the mouth is a mirror has been used to illustrate the wealth of information that can be derived from examining oral tissues.
4. The mouth is a gateway: Healthy living starts from the mouth, the energy the body needs from the food goes through your mouth, the taste of food, the savoury of a meal and Proverbs 18:21: Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.
5.The mouth is an expression of yourself: These are tissues whose functions we often take for granted, yet they represent the very essence of our humanity. They allow us to speak and smile; sigh and kiss; taste, chew, and swallow; cry out in pain; and convey a world of feelings and emotions through facial expressions. So the next time someone tries to kiss you ask, “What is your oral health status?” and remember out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.
6.The mouth is not an island: In 1948 the World Health Organization expanded the definition of health to mean “a complete state of physical, mental, and social well-being, and not just the absence of infirmity.” It follows that oral health must also include well-being, we must recognize that oral health and general health are inseparable. We ignore signs and symptoms of oral disease and dysfunction to our detriment. You cannot be healthy without oral health. Oral health and general health should not be interpreted as separate entities.
7. Tooth decay is not just a “hole” in your tooth: Caries i.e. tooth decay you need to understand is a bacterial infection, and that “hole” is the home of the ongoing infection. If you seek early intervention, that part is cut off and restored hence a “filling”. If you ignore, the infection spreads, to the surrounding tissues, you start feeling the pain, spreads and gets to your blood stream and people have died from an infection which started in the tooth.
8. Bleeding gums are NOT normal: Seeing blood after brushing your teeth is NOT normal. It is either you are using a wrong tool (hard bristled toothbrush) or wrong brushing technique or the first sign of periodontal disease, which is also a bacterial infection. If that is ignored, it also spreads to the surrounding tissues and you gradually notice tilting of tooth, eventually becomes mobile (shaky-shaky) and then it falls off. A routine check-up can identify the early stages and a recommended professional cleaning of teeth (Scaling & Polishing) twice yearly should save that tooth from falling out of your mouth into the garbage.
9. The tooth is forever. You must have seen a documentary on discovery channel of how ancestor’s teeth were discovered in their buried tombs centuries ago. And how it aids forensic in the identification of age and sex of an individual.
10. Bad dietary habits affect your oral health status: Tobacco use, alcohol use, poor dietary practices will have an effect on your oral health, remember that before it gets to your lungs and liver to cause damage it passes through your mouth. If they can cause damage that far, they can cause damage at the entry level.
How to know your oral health status, visit a qualified dentist near you. Depending on your current oral health status a treatment plan or maintenance plan or replacement plan will be recommended.
Thanks for reading, do not joke with your oral health status, Stay Gorgeous & Stay Professional.
Dr Oyaks is an oral health care blogger at Ghanahealthnest.com, a fully qualified practicing dental surgeon with a Ghanaian blood and a Nigerian mind. She has a passion for teaching and sharing oral health knowledge because it all starts in the mouth, Healthy mouth, Healthy body. Her life goal is to stay connected to the vine, stay gorgeous & stay professional. See more at www.DrOyaks.me