Our mouth has an ecosystem of its own, meaning it has a lot of different species living in it. These living organisms play a critical role in building our confidence when we smile with our teeth open. One major part of the species is bacteria. It is said that a single human’s mouth may have 6 billion bacteria when compared to the 7.3 billion people living in the world.
These oral bacteria live in different communities wherein they are born, work together, feeding, mating and even dying. There are also bad bacteria in your mouth that cause tooth decay, and tooth loss. Bad bacteria called streptococcus mutans cause tooth decay and another type of bacteria called porphyromonas gingivalis (bad bacteria) attack your gums only when your gums are infected.
You need to take good care of your teeth and its simple. All you need to do is brush twice a day and you’ll shield your teeth from bad bacteria causing any damage. On the other hand, an unhealthy mouth having gum disease can create serious health problems like heart attacks, and strokes.
8 Ways To Keep Your Teeth Healthy:
Keeping your teeth healthy is a part of our daily duties the moment we leave the bed. Thanks to the invention of toothpaste that cleanses your teeth and washes away bad bacteria. Sometimes Diabetes and pregnancy can cause dental problems. When there is too much glucose in your blood it may cause oral health problems such as pain and infection.
1. Avoid Sugary Food and Drinks:
Bacteria living in your mouth love to keep snacking sweets and carbohydrates most often. This type of bacteria is said to multiply in quick time and cling onto one another, thereby forming a thick extra quoting in your teeth called plaque. There is a simple remedy for this, and all you need to do is reduce the intake of sugar and foods containing white flour in it.
Plaque formation on your teeth is equal to 90 per cent of the dental problems faced by everyone. This results in an acid formation that causes tooth decay. Also, limit the intake of citrus fruits, soda drinks, and wine. Sugary soda drinks are dangerous for your teeth and can cause plaque formation.
2. Do Not Over Brush:
Avoid brushing your teeth too fast and hard because it may scrape away the enamel on your teeth. Food containing acid can soften your enamel and make it easier to be worn off while brushing. Make sure you brush your teeth after one hour after consuming Sugary foods or sugary drinks.
3. Use Fluoride Toothpaste:
Fluoride is also called as a ‘natures cavity fighter’ because it aims at strengthening the enamel and repair initial stages of tooth decay. It makes your teeth resistant to acids that come from foods and bad bacteria in your mouth.
4. Be careful of Chloride Swimming Pools:
Most swimming pools are not properly chlorinated wherein the water may be too acidic. If chlorinated water enters your mouth, it may add to the existing acid that may result in tooth decay. Make sure you check with the management as to how much of chlorine are they using. After swimming, avoid drinking any citrus flavoured or sugary soda drink that may add them to existing chlorine in your mouth.
5. Visit Your Dentist Regularly:
Always make it a point to visit your dentist every 6 months for a checkup and if cleaning is advised, make sure you get one done. If your a regular swimmer spending most of your time in a pool, then you need to request your dentist for fluoride supplements, mouthwashes or any sort of coating for your teeth.
6. Do Not Grind Your Teeth:
Some people have the habit of grinding the upper and lower portions of their teeth together. This is dangerous and it’s one of the easiest ways your enamel can be worn off. If you have the habit of always grinding, consult your dentist and he may suggest a custom mouth guard that can protect your teeth from excessive teeth grinding.
7. Do Not Use Your Teeth for Opening or Breaking:
Certain times you may use your teeth to open bottle caps, nut breaking and tear open a packet of chips. If you have this habit, then your teeth may be at risk of getting chipped or even breaking. Avoid doing this, because you would not like to see yourself with a half tooth and spend a lot on dental treatments.
8. Rinse Your Mouth After Drinking Acidic Liquids:
Make sure you rinse your mouth with warm water after consuming acidic liquids. This is because acidic beverages and foods may weaken your tooth’s enamel, thus causing erosion and decay. You can resume brushing after an hour or so. The moment you consume anything acidic, your mouth remains acidic for a minimum of 30 minutes.
This may lead to depletion of enamel due to acidic compounds in your mouth such as calcium and phosphate. When this happens, your teeth may turn yellowish and dull. The simplest way to get rid of such acidity is by drinking water and gargling after an hour.
5 Ways To Keep Your Gums Healthy:
Most times people think of straightening their teeth but forget of protecting it. A healthy tooth is not defined by a confident smile, but instead, it is defined by the food we consume. Gums support and hold your teeth and if this is not taken care off, you may end up having gum disease.
1. Floss Every day:
Flossing helps clean your teeth in between thus removing dirt and plaque. Make it a point to floss every day and this may remove dirt or plaque that beyond your toothbrush reach. Here’s how you can floss your teeth:
- Firstly, use a dental floss and tie it to both your fingers
- Then place the floss in between your teeth
- Begin rubbing gently and do not let floss touch your gums
- Rinse your mouth with hot water
- Brush your teeth to ensure all plaque is removed.
2. Do Not Smoke:
Smoking causes gum disease and is considered fatal because it weakens the immune system and makes it slow to fight bad bacteria. It also makes it hard for your gums to heal in case it is cut and hurt. This may be the right opportunity for you to stop smoking. However there are different ways you can fight nicotine.
- Keep chewing something all the time.
- Drink more water
- In case you get a craving to smoke, sit up straight and breathe in full and breath out.
- Visit no smoking zones more often.
- Get involved in exercising (Running, jogging, swimming etc.)
- Incase you get a craving to smoke, take a huge breathe from your nose and let go from your mouth. (Continuously repeat for 10 minutes till you feel relaxed).
3. Get A Dental Check-Up Done:
Make sure you visit a dentist every 6 months and keep your teeth health and clean. Sometimes your dentist can detect symptoms of gum disease if any, and treat it before it gets serious. Tartar is a strong mould-like substance that stains your teeth and this can be removed only by a dental professional. But you need to floss and brush at least twice a day to avoid any major risk.
4. Brush Tongue:
After brushing your teeth, plaque can also build on your tongue. If there’s a bad odour coming from your mouth even after brushing, it can be understood that there is plaque build up on your tongue. All you need to do is gently brush your tongue and gargle with warm water.
Your tongue is covered with small bumps called papillae and plaque gets collected in it causing bad odour even after brushing. The bad bacteria can get deposited onto your teeth and gums and to avoid such thing happening, you need to gently brush your tongue after brushing your teeth.
5. Use Neem:
A neem twig is an ayurvedic method of brushing that was and is still being used by most people in India for the purpose of brushing. Most dentists suggest using this ancient dental medicine because it avoids the risks to many dental problems. It strengthens your gums and avoids the risk of any gum disease.
Benefits of Using Neem: Chewing neem twigs is advised by many dentists and here is are the benefits of using neem:
- Acts as an anti-bacterial agent in your mouth
- Natural teeth whitening
Note: You must also be careful in using neem twigs responsibly. The brush-like fiber on the neem twig has medicinal properties, but make sure it does not hurt your gums.
Signs of Gum Diseases:
Gum disease happens when plaque begins to form under your gums and this is filled with bad bacteria. This can cause harm to your gum bone, which in turn may cause tooth decay. Once the plaque is formed, it may cause dental problems such as gingivitis which is considered to be the first stage of gum disease. Here are some signs that you may have gum disease.
- Bad breath and taste
- Bleeding gums
- Permanent tooth becomes loose
- Swollen gums that appear red and soft
Types of Gum Diseases:
If you are suffering from swollen and bleeding gums, it is the first sign that you have gum disease. Some of the signs that cause gum disease are mouth sores, swelling in mouth and pain. However, this can be treated if identified at the earliest. So if your gums are swollen or bleeding, do not avoid such a thing and immediately visit a nearby dentist. Here are the types of gum diseases.
The first sign that you may have gingivitis are swelling your gums, excess bleeding and sores. This is considered to be the primary stage of gingivitis. This type of gum disease is a result of improper oral hygiene like not brushing and using toxins like tobacco or chewing gutka.
Dangers of Gingivitis:
- Plaque accumulates between and around the teeth
- Plaque damages the gum tissue
- Leads to tooth loss
This type of disease is an advanced gum-related disease. The bacteria present in periodontitis not only affects the gum tissue but spreads all the way down to the gum line. This affects your teeth and the ultimate cause of such a disease causes tooth loss.
Dangers of Periodontitis:
- Puss formation in the gingival pockets
- Bad breath
- Red coloured swollen gums
3. Aggressive Periodontitis:
The extreme stage of periodontitis is called aggressive periodontitis. The gingival tissue and ligaments that hold your teeth loosen resulting in tooth loss.
Dangers of Aggressive Periodontitis:
- Loss of teeth occurs faster than chronic periodontitis
- Unhealthy oral habits
- Smoking and chewing tobacco
- Children having diabetes have a risk of getting this disease
- May affect generations
4. Chronic Periodontitis:
Chronic Periodontitis refers to infection of gingival tissue and loss of bone that holds your teeth. This happens among most adults aged 45 years and it may develop among children and teens too. This type of disease affects women, but it is observed among most men. The main cause for this gum disease is the formation of plaque that affects the gums slowly and causes tooth loss.
Dangers of Chronic Periodontitis:
- Affects both men and women
- Smokers have high risks to this disease
- May affect generations to come
- Diabetics have high risks
- Patients suffering from HIV or AIDS
- People suffering from cancer
5. Systemic Periodontitis:
This type of gum disease is caused due to other diseases like:
- Heart diseases
- Respiratory diseases
However, a systemic disease causes gum bleeding, and severe pain to the individual.
6. Necrotizing Periodontal Disease:
This type of disease usually takes place among people suffering from systemic diseases such as malnutrition, HIV etc. Necrosis refers to the death of tissues such as gingival tissue, alveolar bone and periodontal ligaments. All of these tissues are not eaten, but instead, the supply of nourishment is blocked to keep them healthy.
Dangers of Necrotizing Periodontal Disease:
- Loss of teeth
- Emotional stress due to painful treatment
- Extreme stage may be life-threatening
- Damage of tooth cavity and its supporting structure due to treatment
Now that you know the importance of your teeth and gums there are many other questions that needs to be discussed to give you an insight into unhealthy teeth and gums.
1. Does plaque in your teeth cause health diseases?
Yes it does cause health diseases as most scientists have found that there are links to plaque and your overall health. Some of the health diseases that can be caused due to excessive plaque formation are heart attack, and dementia.
2. What happens if i don’t brush my teeth every day?
If you skip brushing your teeth every day bad bacteria can form a sticky layer on your tooth called plaque. Brushing every day cleans plaque formation every day. It is very important to clean plaque because it can cause tooth decay and gum diseases.
3. Can bad bacteria from your mouth enter blood?
Usually, bad bacteria does not enter into your blood, but sometimes there are high risks of entering your bloodstream. This can also happen during a dental treatment allowing bacteria to enter into your bloodstream. If your immune system is healthy then you don’t have to worry about bad bacteria entering your blood.
There’s a simple remedy to avoid plaque formation and other dental related diseases. All you need to do is brush twice a day, especially before getting into bed. Also, make it a point to visit a dentist every six months once. If you prefer cleaning your teeth in an ayurvedic manner you can chew neem twigs which therefore acts as a natural anti-bacterial toothpaste for your teeth. It also helps in teeth whitening. Moreover, a healthy tooth is determined on the type dental hygiene you follow.