Dental Health and Your Body

Good dental health is good for both your teeth and body. This means you have healthy teeth and gums. If you wish to avoid cavities and bad breath then the everyday ritual of brushing your teeth along with flossing is essential.

Needles to state, it is always recommended to see your dentist to judge whether you need any dental treatment.

Most typical problems of Oral Health are:

1) Smelly breath

2) Teeth decay / cavities

3) Gingivitis

4) Discolored teeth

5) Dry mouth

1) Bad breath (Halitosis) is when breath has an unpleasant odor. It is more of a societal problem than a dental health issue.

Sulfur compounds in breath produce chronic halitosis. Sulfur compounds are responsible for bad odor of breath.

Main factors which contribute to smelly breath are:

- Foods: Some food items consist of volatile sulfur compounds e.g. onions or any spices or garlic etc. This results in smelly breath which is temporary.

Digested sulfur compounds enter bloodstream and come out of lungs through exhaling, releasing unpleasant odor.

- Dental issues: Any injury or abscess at tooth base can be the source of bad breath due to hydrogen sulfur vapors emitted by bacteria.

- Dry mouth: Saliva keeps mouth clean. It also keeps it moist. A dry mouth enables the accumulation of dead cells on tongue & gums. Decomposed cells cause bad odor. Bad morning breath due to short sleep is one of the causes of dry mouth.

- Poor dental hygiene: Decaying food particles trapped between teeth give rise to foul odor. Good brushing & flossing can get rid of this problem,

- Smoking: Gives rise to unpleasant mouth odor due to dry mouth.

2) Tooth Decay: Common dental problem is Tooth Decay or Cavities. Reason for this problem is the loss of minerals from the tooth enamel. Acids produced by dental plaque attack this tooth enamel.

Tooth decay can be avoided if you reduce consumption of sweet snacks & acidic fizzy drinks. Brush your teeth twice a day and after meals. Use toothpaste which contains fluoride.

Cavities are developed in between teeth or at gum root.

If tooth is not treated, destruction travels from tooth enamel to intermediate dentin to inner most soft pulp. Nutrition, oral hygiene, or hereditary factors also are responsible for tooth decay.

3) Gum disease (Gingivitis or periodontal disease): starts as an inflammation of the gums that if left untreated can affect and gradually destroy the tissues surrounding and supporting the teeth.

Periodontal diseases are infections of the periodontal tissues, which include the gums, periodontal ligament and alveolar bone.

Gingivitis and periodontitis are the two main stages of gum disease.

Without proper treatment of gum disease, the teeth will finally become loose, fall out or have to be removed by a dentist.

4) Stained Teeth: One of the most common problems is stained teeth. People have some discomfort while they talk or smile due to this problem. Treatment for this is teeth whitening which is easily available.

Tooth discoloration may be classified into three main categories:

Discoloration of Extrinsic tooth- some foods or due to smoking tooth enamel

(External layer) is stained. These external stains are removed through the use of non-bleaching whitening products such as whitening toothpastes.

These toothpastes contain abrasive ingredients which remove surface stains.

Discoloration of Intrinsic tooth- In this case inner structure of the tooth turns yellow in color. Normally whitening products are used which can bleach and change natural

Tooth color.

Discoloration due to age Yellowing teeth is a common symptom of aging. Their mineral structure becomes less porous and makes teeth to appear darker. Underlying layer of yellowish dentin is seen through the enamel which becomes thin due to age.

5) Dry Mouth: In this, mouth becomes dry for want of saliva. Saliva secreting from salivary glands, keeps mouth wet. Anxiety or nervous state produces dry mouth temporarily.

Dry mouth condition is normally seen in elderly people.