WHY VALUE YOUR TOOTH
Tooth Loss is actually a big handicap though taken lightly by our masses. However slowly our current population is beginning to give a tooth its long due respect. Though a large population is getting educated about oral care and prevention but still only about 3-4 % of urban population is seeking preventive and regular dental care.
Tooth loss story starts very early in our lives and system and is duly credited to lack of information on the subject in our belief systems, education systems and scant media coverage about it, as evident through negligible awareness articles/ social posts. The overall efforts of our health care system towards spread of dental awareness in masses are also seemingly less.
The main challenge is that Dental Problems are slow and painless at start and so are our efforts to practice adequate Home dental care. By the time one realizes the damage done by dental disease some irreversible damage is already done.
Also ,when we need to seek dental care we are confused, scared and tend to choose the one providing quickest and cheapest solutions overlooking the need for relationship based dentistry.
Social and health benefits of our teeth:
Healthy adult have 28 teeth (excluding 4 third molars). The front teeth are required for biting and add to ones smile and facial identity. Canines and premolars are important teeth both from chewing and appearance point of view. Molar or back teeth are the main chewing unit and also support our facial muscles giving us a youthful facial height and adding to ones personality and overall smile.
Loss of any tooth brings a turbulence in the dental apparatus. Teeth are placed back to back in our jaws, when one is diseased and not treated on time , decay may spread to the adjacent tooth and thus require more intervention. Removal of tooth without timely replacement will spoil the integrity and function of the entire jaw.The whole dental apparatus exhibits a relationship amongst itself thus teeth, gums, jaw and muscles all function in unison. To have a pretty smile ;its not the front 4-6 teeth that are adequate. The back teeth supports the front and vice versa when it comes to a complete health of oral apparatus and perfect long lasting disease free smiles
Systemic health and teeth:
Oral health is window to healthy body , mind and soul. Proper cutting and chewing ensures one’s digestion remains good . Teeth are the first stage of digestion. Mincing of food by teeth and mashing action of tongue allow saliva to mix well and create a bolus that is then ingested to be further acted by the gastric juices and the process continues till our intestines. Thus we see teeth have a gate keeper role to play towards our overall health. We become what we eat.
Lack of oral hygiene and care has been found to be related to cardiovascular risk, low birth babies, endocarditis and lung diseases. Diabetes are more at risk as they need to eat and chew well. Painful ,unhealthy mouth can impair insulin regulation in their bodies. Also loss of teeth without replacement will put senior citizens and those without teeth in distress and increase irritability as now chewing becomes a challenge. Thus , we see how teeth can impact nutrition which in turn can effect well being and productivity in almost all sections of ones life.
Economic impact of teeth:
The early we begin the better it is. Each tooth that is lost could have been saved by timely action and good dentistry. Every decay could have been possibly reversed if diagnosed and reported on time.The beauty about tooth decay is that it has a reversal possibility. Let’s see a typical cycle of tooth loss.
Decay – Neglect- Pain – Interim solution- Tooth structure damage- RCT- Crown- Tooth fracture – Extraction – Dental implant – Dental implant fails -what next ?
This chart explains how a simple decay that could have been avoided by good home care , regular checkups, preventive dentistry on time ultimately had to go through a cycle of pain treatment , more treatment , much more treatment and finally tooth loss.
What started as a small decay led to a big hole in one’s pocket. Then starts the blame game , with patient accusing dentist for continual treatment. Actually its the story every where
What are best solutions to break this cycle. Well according to our practice identity+ (identity plus dental centre gurgaon and delhi ) our 20 years of experience says:
Start early and stay motivated
look for a dentist who communicates and practices preventive approach
Choose relationship based dentistry over quick fix dentistry as your teeth are designed to last long.
Avoid coupon and offer dentistry for long term keeps
Understand your diet , oral habits and learn best dental practices as not all patients will need similar type of dental care.
Preventive dentistry , digital radiography and photography for screening on your regular dental checkup
Patient risk types / dental risk and motivation assessment
Tooth remineralisation cremes and topical fluoride applications
fluoridated tooth pastes and mouth washes
Healthy sugar restricted diet management for high and moderate risk