We are quite aware that what we put into our mouths may affect the rest of our bodies: we may gain weight or suffer from medical conditions when we consume the wrong types of foods. But we tend to forget that this is not all there is to the mouth-body connection. There is also the negative impact on the body when we neglect our dental health. The consequences of poor oral health, such as gum disease, have a long reach that can also affect life-giving organs such as the heart.
In a routine examination of the mouth, a dentist Sydney CBD can make certain deductions of a person’s overall physical health just by looking at the condition of his or her teeth and gums.
Just how prevalent is poor oral health in Australian society? A look at the statistics revealed by the Australian Dental Association (ADA) on the oral hygiene behaviour of adults sheds some light. Only 53 percent of adults are said to take the time to brush their teeth twice a day. This leaves a large number of people who aren’t taking care of their teeth and gums and, as a result, they put themselves at risk of dental decay, tooth loss, gum disease, and other mouth disorders such as mouth ulcers and oral cancer.
In addition to not cleaning teeth and gums, we also fail at our responsibility of making dental check-ups a priority. There are many reasons why people avoid dental check-ups. These range from the lackadaisical ‘there is no time’ to the more serious – dental phobia which is the intense fear of the dental chair. The good news for those patients who do suffer from this undesirable condition, that sees a patient make every excuse to scheduling an appointment, is that modern dentistry has brought about new techniques that help ease patients’ fears and anxieties, such as sedation dentistry.
Guidelines to good oral health
The ADA has a well-put-together list of easily implemented guidelines for how to ensure good dental health. The main focus is of course on dental hygiene while others focus on how to choose the right dental practitioner and ways of coping with dental anxieties.
Believe it or not, there is actually a correct way to brush. People are urged to stick to a minimum of two minutes when brushing and use a gentle, circular motion. Brushing can be made more efficient with the appropriate dental tools. Toothbrushes with small, flexible heads and soft bristles work better.
People who consider the surface of teeth to be the largest area of teeth could not be more wrong. The largest area of teeth actually belongs to the spaces in between teeth. This is why flossing is so critical as it targets this area specifically to get rid of food particles that may later lead to decay.
Choosing the right dentist
Finding a suitable professional begins long before one experiences a dental emergency. Some of the must-have criteria include: qualifications in the areas of the dental care desired, practical treatment experience, and the persona of the dental practitioner. The last one is important to establish a long-term relationship.
Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.