Oral Health Matters – Gum Health

November 2, 2011 by Dr. Tham

Why it is important?

  • Improper oral hygiene leads to plaque build-up
  • Plaque formation can lead to gingivitis, an early form of gum disease
  • If left untreated, gingivitis can progress to periodontitis, a more severe form of gum disease
  • Recent evidence indicates that periodontitis is associated with certain medical conditions

That is why it is important for your overall health to understand the importance of good oral hygiene.

Plaque

Plaque

What is plaque?

  • A colourless film of harmful bacteria that sticks to your teeth
  • It is constantly form on the tooth surface.
  • Combination of saliva, food and fluids produce these deposits that collected on teeth and where teeth and gums meet.

Why prevent it?

  • Plaque build-up can lead to gum irritation, gingivitis, periodontal disease, cavities, and even lead to tooth loss
  • Plaque build-up may also harden into tartar

Tartar

  • Tartar trapped between the teeth and gum

    Tartar or calculus is a crusty deposite that can trap stains on the teeth and cause discolouration.

  • It creates a strong bond to the tooth surface, making it difficult to be remove by using dental floss or brushing
  • Tartar formation may also make it more difficult to remove new plaque and bacteria
  • Tartar can only be removed with dental scaling by a dental professional

Tartar attach on the extracted teeth

Plaque and Tartar will lead to dental problem such as:


Gingivitis

Periodontitis and tooth loss

Dental Caries

Poor Oral Health Could Mean Poor Overall Health

Oral health is integral to general health – from the Surgeon General’s Report on Oral Health, 2000

What is the association?

  • The mouth is directly connected to the body by the bloodstream and the digestive system
  • Left untreated, plaque and inflammation can lead to gingivitis
  • Untreated gingivitis may progress to periodontitis
  • Recent evidence suggests that periodontitis is associated with systemic diseases such as heart disease (eg. heart attack, stroke) and diabeties.

Prevention is better than cure

Daily Oral Care: Cleaning In Between

1. Dental Floss

Step 1

Step One:
Take about 18 inches (50cm) of floss and loosely wrap most of it around each middle finger (wrapping more around one finger then the other) leaving 2 inches (5cm) of floss in between

Step 2

Step Two:
With your tumb and index fingers holding the floss taut, gently slide it down between your teeth, while being careful not to snap it down on your gums.

Step 3

Step Three:
Curve the floss around each tooth in a “C” shape and gently move it up and down the sides of each tooth, including under the gumline

How to floss your teeth – source Mouth Healthy (ADA)

2. Interdental Brushes and Threading Floss

Threading Floss

For people with widely spaced teeth, braces, bridges or implants, they may benefit from an interdental toothbrush.

Interdental Brush

Daily Oral Care: Brushing Teeth

Video: How to brush your teeth – source Health Education England (NHS)

Twice yearly: To visit a dentist for dental check-up & dental scaling

Consultation01 [1600x1200]

More info

 

Treatments of gum disease:

 





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