Good Health

What Are The Symptoms And Signs Of Poor Oral Hygiene?

It is found that oral hygiene is a good indicator of our overall health. Poor oral hygiene can tell many important facts on the pathology of disease in the body. One must not wait till one develops symptoms and signs of poor oral hygiene as prevention is better than cure. Here are some of the symptoms and signs of poor oral hygiene which is indicative of requiring professional help:

Presence Of Cavities

Cavities are one of the most common health problems all over the world. It is the decaying of the hard surface of teeth which leads to the formation of holes or pits. Children and adults both develop them. Some are genetically bound to develop cavities more than others. But most often, it is initiated by environmental triggers such as frequent snacking, heavy intake of sugary food items, not cleaning teeth properly causing build-up of bacteria and smoking.

Cavities may present in many ways. It can be observed as brown or black spots on teeth or it may cause severe toothache and tooth sensitivity. Regular dental check-ups may help to diagnose cavities early and manage promptly.

Development Of Oral Thrush

Thrush is white plaque like lesions that are developed over the soft tissues of the mouth. It occurs as a result of a fungal infection by the candida species. This is indicative of an underlying issue such as poorly controlled diabetes mellitus. It is a common complication in people who use steroid inhalers for asthma.

The presence of oral thrush suggests that the person is immunocompromised and the underlying cause for the immunosuppression such as diabetes mellitus, HIV infection, malignancy, or adverse effects of drugs such as steroids must be considered and be tested for. The presence of oral thrush may present as halitosis, which is bad breath and can always cause the patient to develop an unpleasant taste.

Presence Of Gum Disease

Inflammation of gums is called gingivitis which can be easily diagnosed and be treated for. However if it ignored and not managed accordingly, it can develop into periodontitis which is a more serious disease. Here, the gums are not  only inflamed which gives them the appearance of redness, swelling and bleeding but also found to be receding exposing the root of the tooth and leading to increased tooth sensitivity, recurrent cavities, and eventual falling of teeth. Patients suffering from periodontitis may feel sharp unbearable pain when consuming cold, hot food due to a marked increase in sensitivity.

Development Of Dry Mouth

Dry mouth occurs as a result of inadequate saliva production. Saliva not only helps keep the mouth moist and clean but also helps prevent infection as there are bactericidal properties of it. In the absence of adequate saliva, one can feel uncomfortable. It could be due to dehydration, as a side effect of certain drugs like antidepressants, antiepileptics and decongestants or due to radiation treatment.

Symptoms and signs of poor oral hygiene as mentioned above must not be ignored as they are indicative of an underlying serious issue. One must be made aware of these and take the necessary precautions to avoid them.


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