Mouth is a major entry point to our system, and its health depends on a number of factors. Apart from teeth, the gums, tongue and the oral cavity needs to be taken care of for a better overall health.
In Kashmir, Oral Health is almost a neglected cause. People often see the dentist only when their tooth or teeth are in the last stages of decay or when the pain is difficult to be ignored.
Innumerable patients encountered in my practice with huge swelling in their mouth come with less expectations and more apprehensions about their oral health.
An overtly expressive patient told me that he would not want his decayed tooth removed when there was pus in the surrounding area. “I am being told that I have an equal chance of dying because the infection and pus would spread to my whole body,” he lectured.
The problem in our society has always been about hearsay belief that has led to negligence and turned a simple procedure into an expensive surgery.
Often patients ignoring their oral health in initial stages are nothing but being penny wise pound foolish and ending up landing themselves in clinics where they end up shelling huge lumps of money.
One of the most misunderstood and neglected oral health problems is dental pyorrhoea. Simply it signifies Discharge of pus from one’s teeth and gums, even though it’s multi-factorial disease of our teeth that involve mostly gums adjoining bone of our teeth and it’s support structure and prevents damage to it which otherwise advances into a stage which is termed as periodontitis, characterized by falling of teeth.
Basically it’s simple, if your daily routine brushing technique is bad or you have diet that is sticky and soft ,and attitude that makes you complacent and careless enough that you don’t clean or floss your oral cavity to best of your time, you are bound to get pyorrhoea at any stage and end up losing your teeth.
Diabetes is one of the commonest metabolic syndromes bearing its direct impact on gums and teeth and is one of predisposing factors that favour pyorrhoea.
Infact, in research published by Diabetologia, diabetes has been unequivocally confirmed as a major risk factor for periodontitis and risk of dental pyorrhoea and related gum disease is increased by approximately threefold in diabetic individuals compared with non-diabetic individuals.
National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) III, conducted shows that adults with an HbA1c level of >9% had a significantly higher prevalence of severe periodontitis (inflammation of gums) than those without diabetes.
Certain modern lifestyle changes-like smoking, hukka ,unhygienic dietary cheats, street foods ,and non-veg snacks consumed throughout the day are the most neglected and most harmful things that directly damage your gums and teeth.
To prevent further progression and advance stage of dental pyorrhoea like chronic and aggressive pyorrhoea or ulcerative necrotising pyorrhoea one needs to follow professional guild lines and consultation before it is too late to save your teeth from irreplaceable damage.
Only good and satisfactory thing about dental problems and particularly dental pyorrhoea and periodontal problems is that it’s reversible as well as inexpensive given the proper and timely treatment is done.
For example, a simple case of early stage of dental pyorrhoea and periodontal problem can be returned to normal by good surgical root planing and professional ultrasonic scaling costing from 500 to 1000 rupees.
However if neglected at an early stage and the same disease progresses to advanced stages the treatment snowballs to 5000 to 10000 needing replacement of teeth as well as other associated interventions and medications.
Besides if left untreated for long, a simple case of dental pyorrhoea can cause bone and tissue damage. In addition, tooth loss and the apprehension that the infection could spread to rest of the tissues of the body may actually result in other health complications.
Our society in Kashmir needs to give up their laid back and negligent approach towards oral health and take advantage of available professional services in early stages to maintain a proper oral health.
This will not only ensure maintaining overall health but also prevent them from spending huge money annually over their dental treatment. A simple stitch in time saves nine as well as saves your teeth from falling.
The author is MDS Oral and maxilla-facial surgery
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author.
The facts, analysis, assumptions and perspective appearing in the article do not reflect the views of GK.