Your oral health has a significant impact on your overall health and any dental problems that you may have can adversely affect the rest of your body. Regular dental visits do much more than keeping your mouth healthy and smile attractive. Oral infections can affect major organs of the body including the heart. Poor oral health can lead to digestive disorders, irritable bowel syndrome, and in some cases also cause intestinal failure. More than 80% of all systemic diseases are manifestations of gum problems, dental plaque and mouth ulcers. Another complication of poor oral hygiene is gum disease and if left untreated it can invite serious consequences like respiratory issues, diabetes and stroke.
Regular dental care is needed because it prevents tooth decay and keeps you protected against gum disease which can eventually lead to bad breath and loss of teeth. Visiting the dentist will keep your jaw aligned and teeth in shape. Dental checkups can also detect underlying systemic diseases and diagnose health issues even before the symptoms surface. Your mouth reveals a lot about your overall health and speaks volumes about what is going on within your body. Your poor oral hygiene can trigger serious health issues like facial pain, irritable bowel syndrome, digestive problems and heart diseases. Seeing a dentist regularly will not only keep your teeth healthy but also prevent the growth and development of mouth infections that can affect major organs of the body. A routine dental check-up can uncover serious undiagnosed disorders that can otherwise lead to kidney failure, heart disease, nerve damage and in some cases blindness.
Children, teenagers and adults, all should have a dental check-up done every six months to prevent dental problems. However, those with a high risk of gum disease or oral cavities should see the dentist every three months. Smokers and diabetics may need to see the dentist more often. It is best to consult a dental specialist for scheduling your routine checkups.
Bad breath is usually caused due to poor oral hygiene and gum disease. Tobacco consumption and medical disorders can also cause bad breath. Other causes include:
- Sinus infection
- Respiratory tract infections
- Postnatal drips
- Dry mouth
If bad breath persists even with regular brushing and flossing, a dentist can help you determine the actual cause.
It is recommended to floss at least once a day or after every meal to remove the plaque that stays even after brushing.
Dentists recommend that you should change your toothbrush every three months if you brush twice a day for two minutes. Those suffering from gum disease are recommended to change their toothbrush every six weeks. Rinse the toothbrush with warm water after brushing to keep the bristles clean and germ-free. If you have just recovered from an illness, it is advisable to change the toothbrush as early as possible.
A child should first see the dentist when six months old and no later than one year. This is the teething time where the dentist can examine the child’s first teeth and accordingly schedule checkups in the coming months.
A dental implant is designed to replace a missing tooth. It is a stable, reliable, and a safe solution for tooth loss as it fuses with the jaw bone and functions just like a natural tooth. A dental implant is a long-term solution and anyone with adequate bone and healthy gums can consider dental implants to restore a single or several missing teeth.
Anyone with a single tooth or several teeth missing in an arch can consider implants in conjunction with a bridge or a crown. Implants are also used for anchoring loose dentures.
A bone expansion procedure can be planned as per the patient’s individual needs. This would create an ideal situation for dental implants.
Dental implants are easy to install, reliable, durable, and do not cause any damage to the surrounding structures. Dental implants stimulate bone growth and prevent the deterioration of jawbone. Unlike dentures, dental implants allow you to enjoy all your favourite foods without hesitation while protecting your natural, healthy teeth.
Tooth decay is caused when the bacteria residing in your mouth are frequently exposed to foods and beverages that contain starch and sugar. These bacteria use the sugar in your food to produce acids that form plaque and over the time turn into a cavity. What begins with unnoticeable damage steadily progresses from the enamel to the deeper layers of your tooth. Major causes of tooth decay are poor oral hygiene practices, excessive intake of sugary foods, acidic drinks, and aging.
Poor oral hygiene leads to tooth decay. It is a result of not rinsing after meals, not brushing twice a day, and not flossing regularly. An unregulated diet of sweet foods and aerated beverages is also responsible for decay.
For treating the root canal, the area is sedated and the diseased pulp is removed. The canals are cleaned and widened if needed and the bacteria and dead nerves are removed from inside the root. The space created by the cleaning is sealed using an inert filling which prevents the spread of bacteria in future. A filling or crown may be required after a root canal treatment. This is a very safe and successful procedure that allows the patient to keep his/her natural tooth which would otherwise need an extraction.
Dental veneers are designed to cover the unsightly spaces between discoloured, cracked, and chipped teeth. They are an ideal solution to cover unsatisfactorily shaped teeth and enhance the smile. Veneers are bonded to your natural teeth using a special type of cement. Dental veneers are custom-designed in a lab from a mould of your natural teeth to ensure that each veneer fits perfectly to give you a natural looking smile.
No. If your wisdom tooth is fully erupted in your mouth and is acting as a functioning tooth due to the presence of opposing third molars, then it is not necessary to extract such a wisdom tooth.
However, your wisdom teeth are the last teeth to erupt in your mouth. Due to lack of space, third molars are susceptible to impaction as their eruption is often restricted by the overlying bone or gum or an adjacent tooth. An impacted wisdom tooth can be very painful and also cause a dental infection. Not every problem related to wisdom teeth is visible and painful but they may eventually damage the adjacent tooth when their roots expand and a tooth extraction may become more difficult at that stage. This is why dentists recommend that it is better to extract the impacted wisdom tooth between the ages of seventeen and twenty because at that time the roots are still in their nascent stage.
The process is a little painful but the dentist applies local anaesthesia to ease the pain and discomfort. The healing process may take two to three days.
An orthodontic treatment is the process of straightening the teeth to improve their form, function and appearance. Anyone with irregular or overlapping teeth can benefit from an orthodontic treatment. Teenage is the best time to go for an orthodontic treatment as this procedure may take more than two years to give the best results.
A crown is designed to cover a tooth and strengthen it. It is helpful in sealing cracks and preventing tooth damage from getting worse. Crowns are also used for restoring fractured teeth and attaching a bridge. Dental crowns are made from different materials including precious and non-precious metals, acrylic, ceramic and porcelain.
The denture is a detachable set of artificial teeth designed to rest on the gums. Dentures are a replacement for missing teeth and can be partial or complete. Dentures can also be used with implants for a natural and comfortable feel. While partial dentures are designed to fill in gaps created by missing teeth, complete dentures are meant to replace an arch. Dentures are easy to clean, maintain and remove.
A bridge is an attachment that binds a replacement to the adjacent natural teeth. A bridge can only be used if the surrounding structures are healthy and have a stable gum support.
Also known as gum disease, it is mostly caused due to bacteria build-up and plaque. Tobacco users are at an increased risk of gingivitis which is the first stage of gum disease. Aggressive brushing and medications can also lead to unhealthy gums. The common signs and symptoms of periodontal disease are:
- Bleeding and swollen gums
- Bad breath
- Loosening of teeth
The treatment usually depends on the severity of gum disease. The affected area undergoes special cleansing called scaling. This is followed by a root planing procedure wherein the plaque deposits are removed from deeper layers. This helps the gum tissues to heal and shrinks the decayed pockets. If the disease has reached an advanced stage and the supporting bone is deteriorating, a gum-surgery is recommended.
Dental fillings are used to replace broken and decayed parts of the tooth. Gold and silver fillings have been replaced by tooth coloured fillings for a natural appearance. The most commonly used tooth fillings are made of composite resins and glass ionomers for durability, strength, and aesthetic appeal.
Tooth whitening lightens the natural colour of your teeth without damaging the surface. A concentration of carbamide peroxide and hydrogen peroxide is used for this purpose. Tooth whitening can be done at the dental clinic or at home using a special bleaching tray. Teeth whitening can take one of more sittings of 60 minutes each, depending on the stains.
Yes. Antibiotics cannot cure a dental infection the way they cure your cold and flu, so even if there is no pain or swelling ever since you were prescribed antibiotics, it did not treat the underlying disease. Once the pulp of a tooth gets infected, a root canal treatment becomes necessary even if there is no pain or swelling because the damage cannot be reversed.