Overview: What are Oral Health and Oral Health Care?
Essentially, oral health refers to the aspect of our physical health and well-being that includes oral hygiene and well-being i.e., healthy teeth, gums, tongue, cheeks, and more. Oral health may also be considered an over-arching term for overall oral-facial health which encompasses all the parts of our body that help us smile, chew, or speak.
The World Health Organisation refers to oral health by stating that “oral health is a key indicator of overall health, well-being, and quality of life” - and rightly so. Most of our physical health and well-being are powered by nutrition, which essentially is governed by our oral health. For instance, let’s take a simple example, if you have poor teeth care habits leading to a bad and achy tooth, you won’t be able to eat - leading to further weakness and lack of nutrition in your body.
Oral health and oral hygiene, however, do not only influence our physiological well-being. Bad oral health or lack of oral hygiene can lead to a variety of multi-layered complex socio-emotional issues as well. Bad breath or yellow teeth for example are not only indicators of an unhealthy oral cavity but are also influencers on your self-confidence and social capacities. On the other hand, white and healthy teeth and a fresh mouth breath may give you an added pump and boost confidence - affecting your overall daily life.
The thing about teeth care and oral health care is that it's often neglected - so much so that people do not realise that they have dental issues or oral health care concerns. Oftentimes, healthy teeth are considered a complete definition of oral health commonly among people leading to further negligence of overall oral health care which goes way beyond just healthy teeth. If you are one of many people who feel that mouth care or oral health care isn’t an urgent public health concern, look at some of these facts!
Quick Facts about Oral Health
- Worldwide, about 30 per cent of people who are between 65 to 74 of age don’t have any natural teeth left
- In most countries, out of every lakh individuals, there are between 1 in 10 cases of oral cancer
- Studies show that at least 8 out of 10 children have oral health concerns, while 2 out of 3 children have a risk of developing serious teeth cavity issues
- Over 60% of parents assume their children have healthy teeth while being unaware of their children having oral diseases
- 9 out of 10 adults in India suffer from a major oral hygiene and health issue or disease
- 7 out of 10 adults in India claim to have healthy teeth - while 89% of them were found to have a major oral health issue
- Only about 51% of Indians use a toothbrush and toothpaste to brush their teeth - neglecting crucial teeth care
- Most people lack basic oral hygiene as they do not brush twice a day or visit a dentist even once a year
These facts not only demonstrate the severity of oral health issues in India and worldwide but also show how people are negligent of teeth care and oral hygiene and ignorant of their issues and diseases by assuming they have healthy teeth. Mouth care is taken lightly as oral health care in general is not considered part of ‘mainstream health’ by most people. Instead, mouth care and mouth hygiene should be one of the first priorities, given the kind of food that is prevalent and the rate at which people are falling into dental issues because of it, and the absence of oral cleaning & oral hygiene practices. If you have been negligent too, make a visit to your dentist soon, or check for common symptoms of dental issues.
Understanding Oral Health Care Problems and Symptoms
Common symptoms that exhibit signs of poor oral hygiene and mouth care may include:
- Sore regions in the mouth
- Bad mouth odor
- Loose teeth
- Bleeding or receding gums
- Pain or swelling during chewing or otherwise
- Increased sensitivity in teeth due to temperature
Healthy teeth are priceless, thus it is highly recommended that you should maintain oral cleaning & mouth care habits and not wait for symptoms to show before making a visit to your dentist. It is suggested that you make at least two visits to your dentist’s office per year to maintain good oral hygiene and oral health by receiving professional oral health care. This would allow you to catch any issues in the early stages - or even prevent them by receiving and following professional advice on mouth care and mouth hygiene. With this advice, general oral cleaning to ensure teeth care among other things should be followed with discipline to prevent oral and dental diseases.
Often preventable through basic oral cleaning, teeth care, and general mouth hygiene habits, some of the most common, dental or oral diseases may include:
- Tooth Cavities
- Tooth Decay and Tooth Loss
- Gum Swelling and Bleeding
- Bad Mouth Breath and Dry Mouth
- Brittle Teeth and Enamel Erosion
- Root Infections and Cysts
- Oral Cancer
We consume food and drinks all day, and our mouths interact with the general environment as we speak and eat. In the process, countless forms of bacteria, viruses, and fungi enter our mouths and get collected. With regular disciplined teeth care, oral cleaning, and effective mouth care, these microorganisms stay in a controlled quantity - serving just their purpose in our oral cavities. But, in the absence of teeth care and mouth hygiene, and an added factor of a poor diet full of processed and sugary foods, acid-producing bacteria flourish and lead to teeth problems and poor oral health care. Poor oral health care practices like skipping brushing the teeth, tongue cleaning, flossing, and mouth washing together lead to issues that give birth to major diseases which become irreversible after a point. However, other factors apart from poor teeth care and mouth hygiene can affect oral health care as well. Some of these factors include:
- Bad genetics or a family history of not having healthy teeth
- Poor dietary choices (full of sugary and acidic foods)
- Smoking and excessive consumption of soda/coffee/tea
- Certain diseases/infections such as HIV
- Other diseases and issues like acid reflux, diabetes, etc
Common Treatment Options
While basic teeth care and mouth hygiene can keep your oral health in check and most diseases at bay, frequent and regular visits to the dentist are the best way of maintaining healthy teeth. But, if you have developed issues and diseases that need consulting and treatment, the following can be common options available for you:
- Oral Cleaning: Cleaning of teeth to reverse any damage and restore healthy teeth
- Fluoride treatments: Applying fluoride to strengthen healthy teeth and prevent future damage
- Medicines/Anti-Biotics: Prescribing over-the-counter pills or tubes to fight a prevailing infection or issue
- Non-Surgical Procedures: Performing non-surgical procedures ranging from extensive oral cleaning, to fillings, crowning, to root canal treatments to restore damaged teeth and protect healthy teeth from getting affected
- Restoration/Replacement: A complete replacement of a tooth using non-surgical methods like enamel treatments, root canal treatments, using crowns, etc
In case you have developed a major disease that has done extensive damage to your oral cavity, you might need more aggressive forms of treatment which may be even surgical in nature. These may include:
- Tooth Extraction and Implants: Removal of a complete tooth and root to replace it with an implant or fake tooth
- Open Flap Surgery: To remove cysts or infections from within the gums
- Bone or Tissue Grafting: Grafting on a bone or soft tissue to restore bone or tissue damage in the mouth
- Teeth Bridging Treatment: Using two adjacent healthy teeth to form a bridge for a tooth in between
While treatments help you get rid of the most urgent issues, the availability and accessibility of dental treatments should not be confused with substitutes for basic mouth care practices. Whether or not treatments are available and affordable now, mouth hygiene should always remain a priority. Don’t forget the golden rule - ‘prevention is better than cure!’ Wondering how? Let’s look at the basics of mouth care and mouth hygiene, next!
How to Maintain Good Oral Health?
Developing discipline in oral cleaning, teeth care, and oral health care practices, and ensuring oral hygiene can simply be the short answer to this question. But like most simple questions, this one too has a complex and long ‘right answer’. Oral hygiene is a two-word concept but takes countless little mouth care practices you need to develop of to maintain or achieve adequate oral hygiene standards. Some basic steps that you should never miss when planning your mouth hygiene and teeth care regimen are:
- Oral cleaning (brushing) twice a day
- Flossing between your teeth to remove residue
- Scraping off the residue from your tongue
- Cleaning your gums and insides of your cheeks
- Using mouthwash to ensure a complete mouth care
Some advanced-level quick tips for perfect teeth care and mouth hygiene we can give you are:
- Switching to an electric toothbrush
- Using an activated charcoal toothpaste and brush
- Oral cleaning & rinsing with an alcohol-free mouthwash
- Trying a water flosser for oral cleaning
- Using a copper-based tongue scrapper
- Give oil-pulling a try for mouth care
- And none other than, visiting the dentist at least twice a year!
Useful Products: Elevate your Everyday Oral Care with Perfora
Maintaining oral health care can sound like a tedious task, but fret not! Oral hygiene could not get simpler now that a complete range of premium mouth care products are here to help you achieve ideal teeth care levels and maintain healthy teeth and mouth! With daily oral cleaning - using the right products can help you find your balance and develop a regimen that supports your oral hygiene and mouth care.
At Perfora, we take mouth hygiene and mouth care very seriously. This is why we have designed and developed the most effective, cruelty-free, chemical-free, and natural products. Ranging from electric charcoal-based toothbrushes, toothpaste, mouthwashes, flossers, scrapers, and more - we have it all! So, why wait?