Tooth and gum diseases are among the most important health problems in our country and in the world. However, it is not given the necessary importance as it does not directly threaten life.
The mouth is the entrance to the digestive tract. Negativeness in the mouth leads to deterioration of dental health and adversely affected digestion. The food we take by mouth is chewed and mixed with saliva, making it ready to be swallowed and digested. The mouth helps to talk at the same time. Tongue, which is the organ of taste; It also has very important side tasks such as chewing, swallowing and speaking.
Teeth have important effects on our speech and appearance, as well as the tasks of breaking down and grinding food. It is difficult for people with missing teeth to make certain sounds, and there is difficulty in chewing and/or biting. During the development process of the teeth, the first milk teeth emerge, then leave their places to the permanent teeth.
The two most important diseases in oral and dental health are dental caries and gingivitis. Gum diseases can sometimes have an effect that progresses to the melting of the jawbone where the tooth socket is located. deterioration of dental health can also affect other organs in the body. Teeth can become a constant focus of infection that adversely affects almost all systems and can affect the heart, kidneys, joints, etc. It can be a source of infections that can cause important health problems in structures.
The absence of any structural and functional disorders in the mouth and teeth, and the fact that the mouth and teeth can fully perform their duties indicate the existence of “oral and dental health”.
1. Tooth Decay
There are three main factors in the formation of dental caries: a sensitive tooth surface, food residues suitable for microorganisms, the presence of microorganisms that will cause their disintegration and acid formation. Among the foods, the ones that cause tooth decay the most are carbohydrates, roughly, sugary foods.
If teeth are brushed regularly and care is taken, microbes cannot harm them. Tooth decay is a disease that destroys the structure of the tooth by making cavities in the tooth and does not heal on its own.
If the teeth are not cleaned well, food residues and microbes accumulate on them. Bacteria in the mouth use the sugary substances in food residues to turn it into a transparent, sticky substance and make it stick on the teeth. These deposits are called plaques. These plaques also facilitate the adhesion of bacteria on the teeth. The acid in the sugary substances used to sweeten foods can damage the teeth, but the bacteria themselves can form acid. Acid causes tooth enamel to dissolve. Thus, microbes entering through the melting zones can easily reach the underlying soft tissue.
Acids create small holes on the tooth enamel, which is the protective layer of the tooth. These holes gradually enlarge and become small cavities. After the tooth enamel dissolves, caries progresses rapidly, creating a wide and deep cavity in the underlying layer. As the tooth decay progresses towards the pulp, the teeth begin to ache. If the caries progresses further, pus begins to form and accumulate in the pulp area and inside the jawbone. This is called a dental abscess. If it is not treated by the dentist at the very beginning, more difficult, complex and expensive treatments may be required for the decayed tooth. Dental plaque is one of the important causes of gum disease. Brushing teeth after meals and removing food residues using dental floss prevents tooth decay, formation and progression of gum diseases.
Just because your teeth don’t hurt doesn’t mean they’re healthy. To have a toothache, the tooth decay must be very advanced. In order to determine dental caries in the treatable period, it is necessary to go to the dentist at least twice a year and have the teeth examined without waiting for pain. Dentists can also identify invisible tooth cavities by filming the teeth when necessary.
Early recognition of dental caries can prevent or at least delay the loss of teeth. This provides important contributions both in terms of health and social and economic aspects. It reduces the need for dentures to be placed in the mouth. Nothing can replace our own natural teeth. Premature loss of permanent teeth causes nutritional problems. Oral and dental care is very important for the longevity of natural teeth.
In terms of dental health, the fluoride we take with water is also very important. The rate of dental caries increases greatly in settlements with a lack of fluoride in their waters. For this reason, the recommendations of health institutions regarding fluoride should be followed.
2. Gum Diseases
The part of the tooth that is visible outside the gingiva is covered with a hard layer called tooth enamel. There is a softer structure underneath. In the innermost is the dental pulp. There are plenty of blood vessels and nerves here. The tooth body narrows in the part where it enters the gingiva and the bone below it. This part is called the neck of the tooth. The part that remains inside the jawbone is called the root part of the tooth. The tooth root is firmly attached to the jawbone in the tooth socket with special tissue extensions. Gum diseases and tooth decay can cause bad breath. When there is bad breath, the cause should be investigated.
Gum diseases are among the most important dental health problems. It is closely related to poor oral hygiene. From the beginning period, the gums bleed easily. Dentist examination is mandatory for bleeding gums. Inflammation of the gums, tooth sockets and floor of the mouth is generally known as gum disease. Plaque on the teeth is the most important reason for this. Untreated gingivitis can also lead to inflammation and damage to the jawbone.
Tooth decay, gum diseases, sinusitis, tonsillitis, respiratory system diseases, digestive problems, lack of oral care can cause bad breath. This situation also affects social relations. Some metabolic diseases can also cause distinctive odors in the mouth.
3. Developmental Disorders of the Teeth
Tooth irregularities that cause closure disorders in the mouth facilitate tooth decay and lead to earlier shedding. Irregular teeth can cause deterioration of the relationship between the lower and upper jaw. They cause difficulty in chewing and cleaning and cause bad breath.
The most important reason for irregular teeth may be premature loss of milk teeth. As a result, the permanent teeth can be placed on top of each other. Irregular teeth can cause speech disorders and appearance disorders.
Smoking causes discoloration of teeth. The teeth of smokers take on a brownish tint. Teeth that have lost their vitality appear gray. Some drugs that are used incorrectly in children can also cause discoloration of the teeth. Excess fluoride can cause teeth to turn yellow.
Antibiotics used during pregnancy and infancy, etc. Some medications can cause permanent discoloration of the teeth. Therefore, the drug should not be used without the advice of a physician.
4. How to Maintain Oral and Dental Health?
Early diagnosis is very important in terms of dental diseases and protection of dental health. For this reason, it is recommended to be examined by the dentist at least twice a year.
In the prevention of tooth decay, the basic practices are to have sufficient fluoride in the water, to brush the teeth regularly, to use dental floss, to avoid excessively sweet and sugary foods as much as possible, to brush the teeth when these are eaten and to visit the dentist. Tooth brushing and regular dental check-ups are also important in the prevention of gum diseases.
If there are developmental disorders in the teeth, the necessary treatment should be provided by applying to the units specialized in special dentistry branches in the early period.
Extremely acidic and sugary foods increase the effect of microorganisms. Teeth should not be mixed with hard objects, nuts, walnuts, etc. crustacean food should not be broken with teeth. These cause the tooth enamel to crack and increase the effect of bacteria. The protective effect of tooth enamel disappears.
5. Tooth Brushing Technique
The most effective way to protect our teeth is to brush regularly. Tooth brushing is the first step in the right brush selection. It is the most appropriate brush, nylon brushes and medium hardness. It is preferred that the head of the brush is not too large for easy movement in the mouth and easy access to the back teeth. After choosing the appropriate brush, the teeth are brushed regularly at least twice a day. Toothpaste facilitates brushing because of the pleasant smell and feel it gives to the mouth. Tooth polishing powders should not be used unless recommended by a dentist. Excessive use is harmful to dental health.
In brushing teeth, the basic movement is the same except for the position of the brush: The brush is placed inclined to the gum line. The teeth are brushed with small circular movements without disturbing this situation. Then, brushing is continued by shifting the brush by one brush length.
1. The toothbrush is held at an angle of 45 degrees and brushing is started starting from the gum line towards the oral cavity. Brushing starting from the outer surfaces should not be done in hard strokes, but should be done softly and in circles, from the front teeth to the back teeth.
2. Then the inner surfaces of the teeth are brushed in the same way. In this process, the brush is kept tilted and moved from the gum to the oral cavity.
3. Then the chewing surfaces of the teeth are brushed by moving the brush straight back and forth.
Brushing should take at least two to three minutes. Healthy gums do not bleed while brushing.
Toothbrush is a personal tool, it is not shared with others. Toothbrushes should be changed every few months, at the latest every six months. Interface brushes are used to ensure effective brushing of interfaces when necessary. It is necessary to consult a dentist in order to get their recommendations regarding these.
6. Use of Dental Floss
Dental floss is a very useful tool for removing food residues between teeth. Appropriate brushing and flossing techniques should be learned starting from a very young age.
After brushing the teeth, dental floss is used to clean the food residues between the teeth and gum line and the teeth. These residues are one of the most important causes of caries.
1. Thirty centimeters of dental floss is taken. One piece of floss is wrapped around the middle finger of one hand and the other end around the middle finger of the other hand. Part of the string should remain in the middle.
2. The middle part of the rope is pushed back with the index finger.
The rope is passed between the teeth. It should not be hard during this movement. After the rope is lowered to the gum, it is lowered into the oral cavity in a way that it scrapes between the teeth. At this time, care should be taken not to cut the gums.
3. The same application is repeated for the lower teeth by taking another piece of thread.
NOTE: This article was taken from http://www.bilkent.edu.tr/~bilheal/uremesagligi/agizdissagligi.html.