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What is Dental and Oral Health?

Dental and oral health is the maintenance of healthy teeth. It is about oral hygiene, which is the practice of keeping the mouth and teeth clean in order to prevent dental disorders.

Dental and oral health is an essential part of your overall health and well-being. Poor oral hygiene can lead to dental cavities and gum disease, and has also been linked to heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.

The care of teeth is a continuous process that requires lifelong commitment.

Statistics show that dental cavities and gum disease are very common so brace up and face the challenge of the lifelong commitment to maintaining healthy teeth.

The professional care of teeth is dentistry. A professional practising dentistry is called a dentist.

A dentist is a doctor who diagnoses and treats diseases of the teeth and oral cavity.

What is Oral Hygiene?

Oral hygiene is the practice of keeping one’s mouth clean and free of disease and other problems by regular brushing of the teeth and cleaning between the teeth.

It is important that oral hygiene be carried out on a regular basis to enable prevention of dental disease and bad breath.

For those who already have bad breath, I will share natural remedies for its cure.

Good Oral Hygiene Habits

To reduce dental and oral diseases, there are steps to take, which are:

■ Brush your teeth at least twice a day. Do not go to bed without brushing your teeth.

■ Brush properly. Carefully brush your teeth using the up and down movement method.

■ Do not neglect your tongue. Gently brush your tongue every time you brush your teeth.

■ Floss your teeth at least once a day.

■ Consider mouthwash

■ Reduce sugar intake

■ Eat diets high in fruits and vegetables

■ Avoid tobacco products

■ Drink more water, alkaline water

■ Get professional dental care periodically; at least every six months.

Symptoms of Dental and Oral Problems

Visiting the dentist every six months will prevent dental and oral disease as the professional will identify a problem before you notice symptoms.

However, if you experience any of the following warning signs of dental health problem, visit your dentist immediately:

● ulcers, sores, or tender areas in the mouth that won’t heal after a week or two

● bleeding or swollen gums after brushing or flossing

● chronic bad breath

● sudden sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures or beverages

● pain or toothache

● loose teeth

● receding gums

● pain with chewing or biting

● swelling of the face and cheek

● clicking of the jaw

● cracked or broken teeth

● frequent dry mouth

You need emergency medical care, if high fever or facial or neck swelling accompanies any of the symptoms.

Causes of Dental and Oral Diseases

Your oral cavity collects all sorts of bacteria, viruses, and fungi.

Some of them belong there, making up the normal flora of your mouth. Of course, they are harmless if in small quantities.

However, you need to know that diets high in sugar create conditions in which acid-producing bacteria flourishes. It is the produced acid that dissolves tooth enamel and causes dental cavities.

Bacteria near your gumline thrive in a sticky matrix called plaque. Plaque accumulates, hardens, and migrates down the length of your tooth if it is not removed regularly by brushing and flossing. This can inflame your gums and cause the condition known as gingivitis.

Increased inflammation causes your gums to begin to pull away from your teeth. This process creates pockets in which pus may eventually collect. This more advanced stage of gum disease is called periodontitis.

There are many factors that contribute to gingivitis and periodontitis, including:

● smoking

● poor brushing habits

● frequent snacking on sugary foods and drinks

● diabetes

● the use of medications that reduce the amount of saliva in the mouth

● family history, or genetics

● certain infections, such as HIV or AIDS

● hormonal changes in women

● acid reflux, or heartburn

● frequent vomiting, due to the acid

Diagnosing Dental and Oral diseases

Most de
ntal and oral problems can be diagnosed during a dental examination. During an exam, your dentist will closely inspect your:


Your dentist might tap or scrape at your teeth with various tools or instruments to assist with a diagnosis.

Tests may include:

■ X-ray
■ MRI scan
■ CT scan
■ Endoscopy

Women who are pregnant should not undergo X-ray.

If oral cancer is suspected, your dentist may also order imaging tests to see if the cancer has spread.

Types of Dental and Oral Diseases

So many things can go wrong over time because we use our teeth and mouths a lot. To ignore the teeth and not take proper care of the teeth worsens its health. Meanwhile, most dental and oral problems can be prevented with proper oral hygiene.

Dental problems that one may likely encounter are:

Cavities are also called caries or tooth decay. These are areas of the tooth that have been permanently damaged and may even have holes in them. Cavities are fairly common. They occur when bacteria, food, and acid coat your teeth and form a plaque. The acid on your teeth starts to eat away at the enamel and then the underlying dentin, or connective tissue. Over time, this can lead to permanent damage.

Gum disease (gingivitis):
Gum disease, also called gingivitis, is inflammation of the gums. It’s usually the result of plaque building up on your teeth due to poor brushing and flossing habits. Gingivitis can make your gums swell and bleed when you brush or floss. Untreated gingivitis can lead to periodontitis, a more serious infection.

As periodontitis progresses, the infection can spread to your jaw and bones. It can also cause an inflammatory response throughout the body.

Cracked or broken teeth:
A tooth can crack or break from an injury to the mouth, chewing hard foods, or grinding the teeth at night. A cracked tooth can be very painful. You should visit your dentist right away if you’ve cracked or broken a tooth.

Sensitive teeth:
If your teeth are sensitive, you might feel pain or discomfort after having cold or hot foods or beverages.

Tooth sensitivity is also referred to as “dentin hypersensitivity.” It sometimes occurs temporarily after having a root canal or a filling. It can also be the result of:

:black_small_square:gum disease
:black_small_square:receding gums
:black_small_square:a cracked tooth
:black_small_square:worn-down fillings or crowns

Some people naturally have sensitive teeth because they have thinner enamel.

Most of the time, naturally sensitive teeth can be treated with a change in your daily oral hygiene regimen. There are specific brands of toothpaste and mouthwash for people with sensitive teeth.

Oral cancer:
Oral cancers include cancer of the:

:black_small_square:floor of the mouth
:black_small_square:hard and soft palate

A dentist is usually the first person to recognize oral cancer. Tobacco use, such as smoking and chewing tobacco, is the biggest risk factor for oral cancer. The earlier that oral cancer is diagnosed, the better the outlook.

Connection Between Oral and General Health

Oral health haimportance in recent years, as researchers have discovered a connection between declining oral health and underlying systemic conditions. It turns out that a healthy mouth can help you maintain a healthy body.

Oral bacteria and inflammation may be associated with:

:black_small_square:heart disease
:black_small_square:endocarditis, or inflammation of the lining of the heart
:black_small_square:premature birth
:black_small_square:low birth weight

Bacteria can spread from your oral cavity to your bloodstream, causing infective endocarditis. Infective endocarditis is a life-threatening infection of your heart valves. Your dentist may suggest you take antibiotics as a preventive measure before they perform any dental procedure that could dislodge bacteria in your mouth.

Treating Dental and Oral Problems

Even if you have been taking good care of your teeth, you still need to have a professional cleaning twice a year during a routine visit with your dentist. Your dentist will recommend other treatments if you show signs of gum disease, infections, or other problems.

A professional clea
ning can get rid of any plaque you may have missed while brushing and flossing. It’ll also remove tartar. These cleanings are usually performed by a dental hygienist. After all the tartar is removed from your teeth, the hygienist will use a high-powered toothbrush to brush your teeth. This is followed by flossing and rinsing to wash out any debris.

A deep cleaning is also known as scaling and root planning. It removes tartar from above and below the gumline that can’t be reached during a routine cleaning.

Fluoride treatments
Following a dental cleaning, your dentist may apply a fluoride treatment to help fight off cavities. Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral. It can help strengthen the enamel of your tooth and make them more resilient to bacteria and acid.

If you show signs of a gum infection or you have a tooth abscess that has spread to other teeth or your jaw, your dentist may prescribe antibiotics to help get rid of the infection. The antibiotic may be in the form of a mouth rinse, gel, oral tablet, or capsule. Topical antibiotic gel may also be applied to the teeth or gums during surgical procedures.

Fillings, crowns, and sealants
A filling is used to repair a cavity, crack, or hole in the tooth. The dentist will first use a drill to remove the damaged area of the tooth and then fill the hole with some material, such as amalgam or composite.

A crown is used if a large portion of your tooth needs to be removed or has broken off due to an injury. There are two types of crowns: an implant crown that fits over an implant, and a regular crown that fits over a natural tooth. Both types of crowns fill in the gap where your natural tooth appeared.

Dental sealants are thin, protective coatings that are placed on the back teeth, or molars, to help prevent cavities. Your dentist may recommend a sealant for your children as soon as they get their first molars, at around age six, and again when they get their second set of molars around age 12. Sealants are easy to apply and completely painless.

Root canal
You might need a root canal if tooth decay reaches all the way inside the tooth to the nerve. During a root canal, the nerve is removed and replaced with a filling made of a biocompatible material, usually a combination of a rubber-like material called gutta-percha and adhesive cement.

Probiotics are mostly known for their role in digestive health, but new research has shown that the healthy bacteria may be beneficial for your teeth and gums.

Probiotics have been shown to prevent plaque and treat bad breath. They also help to prevent oral cancers and decrease inflammation from gum disease.

While large clinical trials are still needed to prove their effectiveness, results to date have been promising. You can take a probiotic supplement or eat foods high in beneficial bacteria, such as yogurt, kefir, and kimchi. Other popular probiotic foods include sauerkraut, tempeh, and miso.

Changing daily habits
Keeping your mouth healthy is a daily commitment. A dental hygienist can teach you how to properly take care of your teeth and gums on a daily basis. In addition to brushing and flossing, your daily routine can include mouthwash, oral rinses, and possibly other tools.

Keeping your teeth and gums healthy

Good oral health boils down to good general health and common sense. The best ways to prevent oral health problems are to:

:heavy_check_mark: brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste at least twice a day

:heavy_check_mark: floss at least once a day (one of the most beneficial things you can do to prevent disease in your oral cavity)

:heavy_check_mark: have your teeth cleaned by a dental professional every six months

:heavy_check_mark: avoid tobacco products

:heavy_check_mark: follow a high-fiber, low-fat, low-sugar diet that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables

:heavy_check_mark: limit sugary snacks and drinks

Foods with hidden sugars include:

:black_small_square:condiments such as ketchup and barbecue sauce
:black_small_square:sliced fruit or applesauce in cans or jars that have added sugars
:black_small_square:flavored yogurt
:black_small_square:pasta sauce
:black_small_square:sweetened iced tea
:black_small_square:sports drinks
:black_small_square:juice or juice blends
:black_small_square:granola and cereal bars

Good oral health is especially important to groups such as children, pregnant women, and older adults.

Facts to note on dental and oral health

:black_small_square:Children are highly susceptible to dental cavities and tooth decay.

:black_small_square:Men are less likely to take good care of their teeth and gums than women. Compared to women, men are less likely to brush twice per day, floss regularly, and seek preventive dental care.

:black_small_square:Due to changing hormones at various stages of their lives, women are at risk for several oral health issues.

The bottom line about dental and oral health

Your oral health has an effect on more than just your teeth. Poor oral and dental health can contribute to issues with your self-esteem, speech, or nutrition. They can also affect your comfort and overall quality of life. Many dental and oral problems develop without any symptoms. Seeing a dentist regularly for a checkup and exam is the best way to catch a problem before it gets worse.

Ultimately, your long-term outcome depends on your own efforts. You can not always prevent every cavity, but you can reduce your risk of severe gum disease and tooth loss by staying on top of your daily oral care.

What people with diabetes need to know about oral health

Diabetes affects the body’s ability to fight off bacteria. This means that people with diabetes have a higher risk of having oral infections, gum disease, and periodontitis. They are at an increased risk of an oral fungal infection called thrush.

For people with diabetes to take charge of their oral health, they will need to maintain control over their blood sugar levels. This is on top of brushing, flossing, and dentist’s visits.


Herbal remedies for cure of bad breath

1.) Fennel Seeds:

Fennel seeds have antiseptic properties that help get rid of bacteria that cause bad breath.

2.) Cinnamon:

Cinnamic aldehyde is an essential oil found in cinnamon that reduces the bacteria in your mouth and covers bad breath. …

3.) Lemon Juice:

Lemon Juice Chewing on a lemon or orange rind will freshen your mouth and add a burst of flavor. The citric acid stimulates saliva production and fights off bad breath. You can also make a lemon rinse by adding a tablespoon of lemon juice to one cup of water and rinsing your mouth with it.

4.) Essential oils:

:leaves: Peppermint essential oil:

For bad breath, try gargling with peppermint oil, a potent anti-microbial that kills off harmful bacteria and leaves the breath fresh. Mix 1-2 drops with water and swish the mixture around your mouth for 30 seconds.

:leaves: Spearmint essential oil
:leaves: Lemon essential oil
:leaves: Eucalyptus essential oil
:leaves: Wintergreen essential oil
:leaves: Clove essential oil
:leaves: Rosemary essential oil
:leaves: Thyme essential oil
:leaves: Parsley essential oil
:leaves: Cinnamon essential oil

5.) Parsley:

Parsley effectively neutralizes bad breath due to the chlorophyll in it. Simply chew on a parsley sprig to freshen your mouth. If preferred, you may dip the parsley sprig in some vinegar before chewing it thoroughly.

6.) Clove:

Put a few pieces of cloves in your mouth and chew them. The antibacterial properties in the cloves will freshen your mouth. Making clove tea will also give you a good mouthwash. Boil a teaspoon of ground cloves to a cup of water and boil, allowing to simmer for 5 to 10 minutes. Use this mouthwash twice a day.

7.) Apple Cider Vinegar:

Apple cider vinegar is great at balancing pH levels which makes it quite effective at remedying bad breath. Take a tablespoon of raw apple cider vinegar and after adding it to a glass of water, drink the solution before taking meals. This will do great for your digestion and treat bad breath. Alternatively, you can add some apple cider vinegar to a cup of water and simply gargle.

8.) Baking Soda:

Use baking powder to make an alcohol-free mouthwash. Take one cup of water and to it add a teaspoon of baking soda. To it add a few drops of peppermint essential oil which has antimicrobial properties. The baking soda will help regulate acid levels in your mouth and will fight off mouth odor.

.) Water:

Water Drinking lots of water will generally give you a fresher mouth. Swish cold water around your mouth every now and then. This is especially effective in getting rid of morning breath.

10.) Activated charcoal:

Add one teaspoon of activated charcoal to half cup of warm water and gargle with it.

Heal your guts with probiotics and keep off antibiotics.

Chewing Sticks for Prevention of Dental and Oral Diseases:

1.) Guava (Psidium guajava)
2.) Twigs
3.) Neem stick (Azadiratcha indica; dogonyaro)
4.) Newbouldia laevis stick (ewe akoko in Yoruba, ogrisi in Igbo)
5) Grapefruit (Citrus paradisi)

Natural teeth whitening agent: Charcoal

If you want to whiten your teeth, do not pay attention to all those ads on chemicals and bleaching technology. Just get charcoal and catch a plantain stem . Make a powder from charcoal, crush the end of the plantain stem, soak it in the charcoal powder and brush your teeth with it for a week.

Natural mouth wash: Coconut Oil :droplet:

More specifically called an “oil pull,” 1 teaspoon full of coconut oil can be swished through your mouth for 5 to 20 minutes and it will literally pull away the plaque and bacteria in your mouth.

This is obviously great news for your oral health, bearing in mind that our oral health also has a huge effect on our heart health and hormonal health.

Women, take note, according to research, gum disease can add on an extra 2 months for the time it takes to get pregnant.

Do not hesitate to use virgin coconut oil as mouth wash.

Finally, be encouraged to keep good dental and oral hygiene.

Remember always that health is wealth!

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