Dental Care

Dental care brushing

Last Updated December 20th, 2021

Overview of dental care

Oral health forms the basis of a healthy life. Proper hygiene conditions and healthy dietary habits are essential for maintaining the quality of oral health. The most essential aspect of oral health is “dental care”. It involves not only the health and hygiene of teeth but also the gums and the tissues of the mouth. Dental disorders are the leading causes of deteriorating oral health in the low and middle-income countries. In the long term, it might even lead to loss of teeth and gum bleeding. Recent reports by the World Health Organization suggest that 60-90% of school children and nearly 100% of adults suffer from dental cavities. This suggests that more stress on dental care techniques are necessary at the moment.

 

What is a dental disorder?

Dental care childDental disorders refer to decay of the teeth, gums, and tissues inside the buccal cavity caused by bacterial infections or anatomical defects.

It is a collective term for defects of enamel, dental abrasion and diseases of the gums. The most severe form of the dental disorder is dental caries which causes localized or major decay of the teeth enamel and calcified tissues.

There are no specific vulnerable groups for dental disorders. Children and adults can be affected equally due to dental problems. At present, dental disorders have become a major factor behind the loss of productivity and performance in different countries, especially the ones where awareness related to dental health is less.

 

What are the causes of dental disorder?

Dental health and care depend mainly on the lifestyle trends and dietary patterns in a particular geographical region or age group. The major contributing factors for dental disorders can be grouped into (1) Direct Causes and (2) Indirect Causes.

Direct causes: The direct etiological factors behind dental decay are discussed below-

  • Teeth: Any deficiency (iron, zinc, fluorine, lead) in the composition of enamel can lead to reduced immunity against bacterial infections and cause decay. Anatomical defects of the teeth like fissures, occlusions (blockages), pits (buccal or lingual) can trap food particles and cause dental caries. These are more prominent in misaligned or crowded teeth.
  • Saliva: Under normal conditions, saliva performs a “cleansing” function and protects the teeth from bacterial decay (due to the presence of enzymes like lysozyme and lactoferrin). But certain clinical conditions such as Xerostomia (oral dryness), Aplasia of salivary glands or lowered pH can cause an abnormal reduction in the secretion of saliva and trigger dental decay.
  • Plaque: Formation of a thin membrane (plaque) on the tooth occurs due to microbial infection. It causes decomposition of the various organic and inorganic components of the teeth and impedes the “cleansing” of teeth due to lack of contact with saliva. This causes dental decay.
  • Substrate: Consumption of refined carbohydrates (Eg: disaccharide glucose) adversely affects the dental health of an individual.

Indirect causes: There are numerous factors that indirectly precipitate dental decay. These are as follows-

  • Loss of existing teeth and shifting of the adjacent teeth into the emptied space (edentulous space) which captures food particles within the gaps.
  • Improper cleaning of teeth due to misalignment or crowding
  • Recession or erosion of gums (due to gingivitis)
  • Selenium present in the soil
  • Cold climatic conditions
  • Dietary habits (non-vegetarians are more prone to dental disorders than vegetarians)
  • Excessive smoking and alcohol consumption

 

Symptoms of dental disorders

Dental disorder symptoms are very prominent in the early stages. Hence easy identification and early diagnosis is possible. The commonly observed symptoms are –

  • Formation of cavities within the teeth
  • Gradual deformation of teeth
  • Yellowish discoloration of teeth
  • Swollen and bleeding gums
  • Loosening of teeth
  • Dried up mouth
  • Difficulty in chewing and swallowing
  • Bad breath (due to teeth and gum infection)
  • Tenderness of gums and teeth
  • Receding and eroding gums
  • Loss of teeth (in advanced stages)
  • Swollen and painful parotid glands (salivary glands)
  • Secretion of sticky saliva
  • Mouth ulcers (in advanced stages)

 

Types of dental disorders

Depending on the region of occurrence and degree of infection, dental disorders may be classified into three main types- (1) Dental caries (2) Periodontal Disease (3) Malocclusion

  • Dental caries: It is defined as the localized degeneration of the tooth surface which slowly penetrates the enamel and attacks the inner layers of the tooth. At the onset of enamel decay, lesions appear that cause a considerable loss of enamel opacity. The mineral content of the enamel slowly degrades (by about 30-50%). In the next stage, the layer behind the enamel, that is the dentin, is attacked, leading to occlusal dentin caries.
  • Periodontal disease: Periodontal disease is the collective term for all diseases related to tissues supporting the teeth and gums. Two most common diseases of this category are- Gingivitis and Periodontitis. Gingivitis is a disease of the gum in which acute inflammation of the gum occurs along with discharge of pus at an advanced stage. Periodontitis refers to the inflammation of the gum and other adjoining structures of the teeth like teeth roots, external bone of tooth socket and supporting tissues. One particular form of Periodontitis that mainly affects children is “Localized Juvenile Periodontitis”. In this condition, bone loss (alveolar bone decay) occurs due to excessive erosion of supporting tissues.
  • Malocclusion: Malocclusion is the dental disorder in which misalignment of the teeth present in the upper jaw bone (maxillary teeth) and lower jaw bone (mandibular teeth) occurs. This condition is usually triggered by genetic factors.

 

Diagnosis

For dental caries and cavities, dentists usually perform a dental probe to determine the cause and nature of caries. A dental radiograph is recommended in most cases.

 

Treatment & Prevention

  • Dental care brushingDental Caries: Early detection of dental caries can help prevent tooth decay. The treatment usually involves the use of fluorides and following a list of preventive measures for tooth decay. In case the tooth decay has reached an advanced stage, the dentist will have to break in the enamel to repair the damaged tooth. This requires drilling (numbing agent applied to dull the pain) and filling the cavity created due to the decayed tooth. The most widely used filling materials are dental amalgam or composite resin.
  • Periodontal Diseases: These can be treated by cleaning the pockets in the gums that surround the teeth thoroughly so that there is a negligible risk of infection. The most common techniques used to treat gum diseases and infections are scaling, root planing, and administering the required antibiotics. These techniques aim at removing plaque and tartar from teeth and keeping the oral cavity bacteria-free.
  • Malocclusion: Cases of malocclusion are treated by an orthodontist. The error is corrected by wearing braces. In case there is overcrowding of teeth, it might require removal of one or more tooth. Once the teeth realign correctly after wearing braces, the braces are taken off and the patient has to wear a retainer till the teeth positions stabilize.

Prevention of tooth decay and gum infections can be done by following these important measures:

  • Brush your teeth twice daily, especially before going to bed.
  • Flossing and using a mouthwash regularly is equally important.
  • Refrain from eating sugary and acidic foods. This includes candies, pretzels, aerated beverages, soda drinks, high-carb junk foods etc.
  • Visit your dentist regularly. Don’t just wait for any dental issue to come up for making a visit to your dentist.

 

Dos and Don'ts

Dos
  • While it is important to brush your teeth twice daily, one should not forget to clean other parts of the mouth such as tongue, gums, throat, and cheek too.
  • Using an anti- bacterial mouthwash can help you achieve better dental health.
  • Rinse your mouth or brush your teeth after snacking on sugar-rich foods.
Don'ts
  • Consume excessive amounts of foods rich in starches (white pastas, breads) and sugar (candies and aerated drinks), fruit juices, tea, and coffee.
  • Procrastinate going to the dentist for regular check-ups. Cleansing should be done twice a year.
  • Indulge in smoking or any form of tobacco consumption.

 

 

 

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Pescatarian Diet 101: What are the inherent health advantages of this diet? People opt to become a pescatarian in order to enrich their bodies with the essential health benefits that…
Tamarind: The top health benefits of this staple Asian ingredient Did you know this sweet and sour pulpy fruit does more than just add a tangy flavor to…
Erythritol: A healthy sugar substitute or yet another marketing ploy? Erythritol is a popular choice of a healthy alternative sweetening agent in foods. But how healthy can a…
Gua sha: Scraping away layers of pain with this ancient healing tool Gua sha is an ancient oriental healing method which focuses on scraping the body with specific tools to…
SIBO Diet: The important dos and don’ts of this gut-healing diet A SIBO diet is a diet that works by eliminating certain sugars from your diet and adding fibers…
HSV-1_IGG
Herpes Simplex Virus I (HSV)-IgG Test Herpes simplex virus I(HSV)-IgG is an Immunoglobulin protein that acts as an antibody & stays in the blood…
AUTOIMMUNE HEPATITIS liver
Hepatitis Profile A hepatitis profile or a hepatitis panel is a blood test that checks for markers of hepatitis infection…
Okra: How can this nutrient-dense vegetable help you fight diabetes? Okra is a food which is rich in nutrients and minerals which are extremely essential for a healthy…
shiitake mushrooms healthy
What are Shiitake Mushrooms and why should you eat them? Shiitake Mushrooms are well known for their smoky and robust taste. However, did you know they are replete…
woman with abdominal pain holding ovulation calendar
Ovulation – facts to know about ovulation Learn how and when ovulation occurs, demystify common misconceptions, identify symptoms, methods of detection and right period for…
alcohol toxic
7 startling facts that will make you quit alcohol today Does drinking really make you friendly and happy? How many calories does a can of cold beer add…
sugar toxic health
Sugar: 7 new shocking truths revealed about the sweet poison Can drinking soda bring you closer to death? Is sugar slowly poisoning you and your family? You would…
How can berberine supplements help you live longer and healthier? Berberine is a turmeric look-alike herbal extract that is credited with numerous health benefits ranging from diabetes cure…
Urologist: When should you visit one and why? A urologist can treat not only genitourinary problems of both men and women but also can treat various…
The Cabbage Soup Diet: The healthiest way to instant weight loss Cabbage soup diet rapid weight loss diet for those who want to shed those extra pounds in less…
CERULOPLASMIN- triple marker
Triple Marker Test A triple marker test is an important prenatal test that is performed to detect the presence of chromosomal…
biopsy procedure
Biopsy Biopsy is a procedure of studying a live tissue sample collected from a specific organ for diagnosing a…
malarial antigen test
Malaria Antigen Test A malaria antigen test is a rapid diagnostic test (RDT) that can detect malarial antigens (proteins) in your…
apolipoprotein a1 test
Apolipoprotein -A1 (APO-A1) Test Apolipoprotein A-I (Apo-A1) constitutes 70% of protein content in high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and helps in lipid metabolism.
complement c4 test
Anemia Profile Anemia Profile test (Basic) is a blood screening test that measures the levels of important components of the…
blood ketone test
Blood Ketone (D3HB) Test The Blood Ketone Test measures and monitors the levels of ketone in the blood which is usually performed…
piles fissure fistula
Allopathy vs homeopathy vs ayurveda treatment for piles, fissures, and fistula Read to know the best form of treatment among allopathy, homeopathy,or ayurveda for piles, fissures, and fistula
Jicama: A fiber-rich tuber for your weight loss goals Pronouced as HEE-kah-ma, Jicama is the "new kid on the block" that has taken the world by the…
improve digestion weight loss
Power up your gut: 8 proven steps on how to improve your digestion Did you know you have a colony of bacteria in your gut that help you in digesting food?…
Goji berry: A traditional Chinese berry that packs the best of antioxidants Goji berry is an ancient berry that is considered to be power-packed with nutrients and antioxidants. Which means…
10 reasons why you should up your selenium intake Selenium, though a trace mineral, is very much integral to your health. Find out how much selenium intake…
waterchestnut
Water Chestnuts: The tastiest ways to include this healthy tuber in your diet Water chestnut is not a nut after all. It is a tuber (much like the potatoes) growing close…
Hydroquinone: Is it the best topical treatment for hyperpigmentation? Darkening of the skin due to high melanin levels is called hyperpigmentation.  Hydroquinone interferes with melanin production thus treating…
What is the right way to take a pregnancy test? A pregnancy test is undertaken to determine if you have conceived. A home pregnancy test is the most…
Vagus nerve: 7 health benefits of stimulating the “gut-brain” connection As a matter of fact, there are two vagus nerves namely the left and the right but is…
shakeology woman
Meal replacement or protein drink? Learn all about Shakeology and its claims Shakeology from Beachbody claims to be the most suitable shake that can aid in weight loss, regulate blood…
Hysteroscopy_procedure
Hysteroscopy Hysteroscopy is a minimally invasive tool to help specialists view the uterus to diagnose and even treat several…
hemoglobin variant analysis
Hemoglobin Variant Analysis Hemoglobin variant analysis is a blood test that is used to detect the presence of hemoglobin variants which…
valproic acid test
Valproic Acid Test Valproic acid test is performed to generally check for psychiatric and even neurological conditions such as bipolar disease…
fructosamine test
Fructosamine Test A fructosamine test measures blood sugar glucose content. Fructosamine level can indicate blood sugar level in past 2-3…
thyroxine t4 test
T4 (Thyroxine) Hormone Test The T4 or thyroxine blood test is an important diagnostic tool that gives a clear picture of how…
hidden causes obesity
8 hidden causes of obesity you probably didn’t know! Did you know that around 2 billion people worldwide are either overweight or obese? Are you too a…
Moringa drink
Moringa: This could be the most nutrient-dense food known to us! Moringa is a lush green tree brimming with over 90 essential nutrients required for a healthy mind and…
Agave nectar: The bitter truth about this sweetener revealed Agave nectar is considered to be sweeter than the normal table sugar and even contains higher amounts of…
Bromelain: 11 reasons why you should start adding pineapple to your pizza! If you didn't love pineapples already, here are some of the top health benefits that bromelain can bring…
Cayenne: The remarkable benefits of these red hot chili peppers These may make you rush for a glass of water, but cayenne pepper is actually a healthy additive…
Exercises or diet? Find out the healthiest way to gain weight Tired of being called skinny all the time? Looking for healthy ways to beef up? Why not try…
The right way to prepare Alfalfa sprouts at home Alfalfa or lusan ghas is not just a nutritious animal fodder. This flavonoid-rich herb has some amazing health…
Psyllium Husk: More than just an effective natural laxative Psyllium husk, or isabgol, is a popular natural laxative . But did you in addition to regulating bowels,…
Carb Cycling: Weighing the pros vs the cons of this diet routine Completely discarding carbs from your life will do you more harm than good. Read more about carb cycling,…
Low fat diets
A complete list of low-fat diets and how to follow them Low-fat diets help you lose weight in a healthy way, but it works only with regular exercise and…
Appendix pain: Recent findings on this not-so vestigial organ The exact function of the appendix is still not clear. Some consider it as an organ that once…
How to scrub away stress and fatigue with an Epsom salt bath? Epsom salt is a popular home remedy for many skin ailments. Though there is a lack of scientific…
blood elements analysis
Blood Element Analysis Test A blood element analysis is a blood test performed to measure the level of toxic elements such as…
anti-chlamydia antibody tets
Anti-Chlamydia Antibody -IgG Test Anti-Chlamydia Antibody - IgG test is performed by collection of urine or genital fluids as sample for testing…
anoscopy
Anoscopy Anoscopy is an invasive diagnostic procedure where a small device known as anoscope will be inserted in the…
antiHEV IgM test
Anti hepatitis E virus (Anti HEV) IgM Test Anti HEV IgM test determines the level of the IgM antibodies in the blood, The disease is often…
lipase test
Lipase Test A lipase test is a blood test performed to quantitatively measure the level of the enzyme lipase in…
Rheumatoid Arthritis xray
Arthritis Profile Arthritis profile is a panel of primarily blood tests used to detect the presence of arthritis or check…
social media adddiction
Your health in the age of Social Media: Why is digital detox a necessity? Did you know that more than 400 million people are dangerously addicted to social media? Are you one…
lose weight fast
12 easy and instant steps to successful weight loss Do you want to lose weight without losing your mind? Does weight loss always mean saying goodbye to…
acne removal tips
Anatomy of acne: 7 instant steps to kiss those zits goodbye Blackheads, whiteheads, or pimples-call them what you may. Acne is never good news.Did you know some of the…

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