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            The Aga Khan University Hospital Pakistan

How to Keep Your Mouth Healthy

<p>​<strong>Importance of oral health</strong></p><p>Oral health plays an important role in ensuring you lead a healthy life. Without proper care, declining oral health can result in a wide range of health problems such as dental caries (tooth decay), tooth loss, and oral cancer, among other diseases. <em>The</em><em> International Agency for Research on Cancer</em> states that cancers of the lip and oral cavity are among the top 15 most common cancers worldwide, with nearly 180,000 deaths each year.</p><p>Negligent oral health care causes various dental health issues and may also lead to chronic illnesses such as heart disease and diabetes.
</p><p>According to Dr Robia Ghafoor, Consultant Dentistry at the Aga Khan University Hospital, “Good oral hygiene can help prevent bad breath, tooth decay and gum disease and may help you keep your teeth healthy as you age.&quot;
</p><p>“Poor oral and dental health can lead to various dental and gum-related problems, which can lead to loose teeth, cavities, infections, and other problems. Not taking proper care of your teeth can cause pain, and may also result in loss of teeth. However, it can be prevented by following hygienic oral health practices,&quot; says Dr Robia.​

</p><p><strong>Risk factors for oral health</strong></p><p>Risk factors of oral health include tobacco and alcohol use, and unhealthy diets which is high in sugar. Research proves there is relationship between oral and general health. It is reported, for example, that diabetes is linked with the development and progression of dental disease. Moreover, there is a causal link between high consumption of sugars, diabetes, obesity, and dental caries (tooth decay).
</p><p><strong>Oral health problems </strong></p><p>Bad breath, tooth decay, and gum disease are common problems that may arise due to negligent oral health; however, they can be avoided by brushing, flossing, and getting regular dental exams. Tooth decay is the most common health problem in children with nursing bottle caries being very common.
</p><p>When it comes to Pakistan, dental caries, gum disease, bad breath, sensitivity, and grinding are more prevalent in the adult population. The elderly population are largely presented with root caries and dry mouth condition due to the use of medications for various medical conditions.
</p><p><strong>Taking care of your oral health</strong></p><p>Good oral hygiene practices include brushing your teeth twice a day, with a soft bristle toothbrush following the proper technique. The usage of fluoride toothpaste plays a vital role in preventing caries and gum disease. Apart from brushing, flossing plays an integral role in reducing hidden caries between the teeth, and the use of a dentist-approved mouthwash is recommended to help remove residual food particles which remain in your mouth following brushing and flossing.
</p><p>Replacing your toothbrush every three to four months is considered best practice, along with scheduling regular dental checkups and professional cleaning, if recommended by the dentist. It is recommended that one should have a healthy diet and avoid consuming carbonated or energy or drinks, betel nut chewing, smoking, and alcohol, to maintain good oral health in the long-run. ​​
</p><p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Possible treatment modalities</strong></p><p style="text-align: justify;">People usually visit their dentist for all sorts of reasons, but tooth cleaning, tooth whitening, filling, root canal, crown and bridge, denture, braces, and dental implants are the most commonly availed dental procedures at the dental clinic. To prevent lengthy and painful treatment procedures, you should visit your dentist at least every 6 months or as recommended by your dental professional. </p><p><strong>To book an appointment call: (021) 111 911 911</strong></p><p><strong>Source: </strong>World Health Organization.
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