Do you have a 'dirty mouth'? Poor oral hygiene is often a significant contributor to a range of dental issues. The more common issues that we see, brought about due to poor oral hygiene habits, including gum disease, dental cavities, bad breath and even dental erosion. This is not to mention the various other dental issues that can be exasperated by a poor oral hygiene routine.
Simply put, poor oral hygiene is something that we believe can be and indeed should be quickly rectified. Why? Because we are passionate about helping you maintain healthy teeth for life and a good oral hygiene routine helps provide the basis needed to achieve this.
Poor oral hygiene, as mentioned above, leads to a range of issues. Generally speaking, however, when we talk about poor oral hygiene, we are referring to the process whereby the billions of bacteria that are living inside our mouths build up and form plaque or tartar. This build up can, if left untreated, lead to periodontal disease, also known as gum disease.
The process by which plaque build-up occurs, is that the bacteria in our mouths feed off the sugars in the food and drinks that we consume. During this process they leave behind the waste, in the form of a biofilm. This biofilm is known more commonly as dental plague.
Once the dental plague has begun to form, this allows this bad bacteria to remain in your mouth for longer. It will, in effect, start a snowball effect leading to even more build up and eventually it will start to build up acids on your teeth and gums. Whilst tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the human body, it is still no match for this acid build up.
The build-up of acid will cause the enamel, the protective layer on the tooth, to wear down and cause cavities to form in your teeth. These cavities may result in tooth pain or toothaches and in more serious cases may cause the tooth to be compromised to a point where it is no longer viable and will require extraction. This is most definitely something that we would like to avoid for all of our patients.
Another negative effect the acid can have, is when it forms near the gum line. This gum line build up can cause toxins to enter the gum tissues and can result in gingivitis. Untreated, gingivitis can result in a more serious disease known as periodontitis, as mentioned above. This occurs where the tissue around the tooth is lost and can result in teeth becoming loose and even the bone becoming compromised. Generally, when the gum line recedes, exposing the root of the tooth, extreme tooth sensitivity can also occur.
Finally, poor oral hygiene has also been linked to other conditions such as heart disease and even dementia. Admittedly more research is needed in this area to definitively prove these links. Quite simply, not having good oral hygiene and health can bring about a series of more severe medical issues.
Whilst treatment for things such as gum disease, bad breath and cavities are available, prevention is by far the less invasive and less costly option. As the saying goes, 'prevention is better than the cure'.
In essence, good oral health and hygiene is about avoiding the above mentioned dental issues, such as the build-up of plaque and tartar. The services or areas that we commonly help people with when it comes to improving their oral health, includes not only dental examinations, also hygiene cleans and gum disease treatment.
Our team will also cover a range of topics with you from brushing technique to dietary advice. Whilst many people know that 'sugar' is not good for your teeth, other items such as starch in bread and cereal, can also contribute to acids being formed. We aim to provide patients with informed lifestyle choices that help build strong teeth, healthy gums and beautiful smiles for life.
As you may have guessed by now, much of the process of maintaining good oral health and hygiene comes down to what you do at home in terms of your dental routine. Simply running over your teeth with a toothbrush twice a day is unfortunately not sufficient.
Whilst everyone's dental record and health is different, some general tips include:
Good dental hygiene is arguably the most important part of any dental treatment, with the majority of the health funds recognising this today and rebating the full amount of the preventive dental care treatment.
Our friendly and experienced team of oral health therapists and hygienists are well equipped to help you get your oral health back on track. We believe in helping our patients look and feel their very best, through a holistic application of dentistry, that not only improves oral health, but your total body health as well.
If you haven't been in for your routine dental examination in the last 6 months or are feeling any discomfort in your gums, be sure to come in and see our professional dental team and let us help you get your oral health back on track.