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Tips to correct the most frequent errors in oral health care

However, the popular ideology is full of beliefs or ‘half truths’ that, far from protecting our teeth and gums, cause us to neglect our oral health and have a greater risk of contracting diseases. Therefore, and within the framework of its Congress of Periodontics and Oral Health that is being held in Malaga with the assistance of more than 4,300 professionals from 40 countries of the world, the Spanish Society of Periodontics and Osseointegration (SEPA) has presented its 'Take care of your gums' campaign to dismantle these' myths and legends' and offer practical advice on mouth care. As explained by SEPA, 'usually, you have the impression that gum or' periodontal 'diseases are not Especially frequent or important. However, in our country they currently affect 8 out of 10 adults over 35 years of age, and recent published studies confirm that advanced periodontitis is the sixth most prevalent disease on the planet, affecting 11.2% of the world's population. And to this it is added that these diseases also have a very negative influence on general health. And it happens in the gums does not stay in the gums ».


Myths and legends

1. It is normal for the gums to bleed Bleeding is an alarm sign anywhere in the body and, logically, the gums are no exception. Thus, a healthy gum should not bleed, and if it does it is because something is not going well. In addition, the origin of this bleeding is not found, as many people believe, in the use of a harder brush or brushing with greater force. As SEPA warns, "bleeding gums is a sign of inflammation and disease."

2. If it does not hurt, it is not important Periodontitis or gum disease is also known, in addition to as pyorrhea, as the invisible invisible disease ’. And it is that in the initial stages it does not present any apparent sign or symptom, case of pain. But this does not imply that the gums are healthy. An important aspect since this periodontitis is associated with an increased risk of very dangerous and life-threatening diseases, such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes or cancer.

3. Smokers are ‘protected’ against periodontal disease. Gum bleeding is less frequent in smokers than in the rest of the population. But this does not mean that smoking protects against periodontitis. On the contrary, smokers have a three times greater risk of suffering from the disease and that it progresses more rapidly. And as the main alarm sign, that is, bleeding gums, is masked, the risk of diagnostic delay is much greater.

4. Maintenance treatments wear my teeth Tooth enamel, that is, the frame that covers the tooth, is the toughest and toughest part of the body. In fact, it reaches seven points on the Mohs Scale - a scale that measures the hardness of the materials and opens the talc, with a single point, and closes the diamond, with 10–. Therefore, maintenance treatments, as well as necessary, do not wear the tooth. As SEPA recalls, “periodontal maintenance is essential for the patient with periodontitis, since it is necessary to periodically eliminate bacterial plaque deposits and calculation regularly to avoid relapse and disease progression. It is a fundamental stage of treatment and the only way to achieve long-term periodontal disease control. This continued treatment has no impact, nor does it produce tooth wear ».

5. Periodontal treatment does not serve to prevent tooth loss Periodontitis causes the destruction of the bone mass that supports the teeth and, therefore, the irreversible loss of teeth. Therefore, its treatment manages to keep the teeth in most cases. And in those where it is not possible, part of the lost bone can be recovered with specific regenerative techniques.

6. The more foam the toothpaste makes, the cleaner. And better with a hard bristle brush. Foaming agents are, along with many other products - such as antibacterials, humectants or flavorings - an essential component of the basic formulation of most toothpastes. But what really ensure proper cleaning of the teeth and eliminates the bacterial plaque is the proper and effective use of the brush. As SEPA recalls, “the duration of brushing and the method used are keys to success.” So is it better to use a hard bristle brush? Yes, because they are usually more effective in removing bacterial plaque and stains on teeth. But be careful: brushes with hard bristles or brushed or traumatic brushing can cause enamel wear and gum retraction, exposing the root of the tooth.

7. The mouthwash, the more it "bites", the more it cures A strong mouthwash or with a lot of alcohol is not always better for the health of the gums. In addition, they can cause dryness of oral tissues. And also, they should always be used as a complement to brushing, because by themselves they are not effective in controlling bacterial plaque.

8. Bad breath or halitosis is due to digestive problems The reality is that bad breath or halitosis originates up to 85-90% of the time in the oral cavity. In fact, this bad smell comes from the effect of anaerobic bacteria in the mouth, which are capable of degrading food products. Thus, deficiencies in oral hygiene, the presence of periodontal disease, the accumulation of bacteria and the decay of food debris are, among others, risk factors for the development of halitosis.

9. Periodic mouth cleaning replaces periodontal treatment Periodontal treatment is not limited to a simple cleaning of the oral cavity, but is an individualized medical performance according to the situation of each patient at a specific time. Therefore, these periodic cleaning do not replace, in any case, this treatment.

10. Chewing a gum can replace oral hygiene The mechanical action of chewing gum - or eating crunchy foods such as fruits and vegetables promotes dental self-cleaning. But what chewing gum actually carries out is a drag effect and an increase in salivation, which contributes to the elimination of plaque. But it cannot be considered as a substitute for other basic actions that make up daily oral hygiene.

Dont leave for tomorrow…

But there is still one final point to add to this decalogue. And it is that in oral health it is not worth the ‘I will already brush my teeth in the morning. This situation favors the growth of the bacteria that cause decay and gum disease. And it is that as a result of the decrease in saliva production during the night, our mouth is more unprotected and bacteria can adhere more easily to our teeth. Therefore, it is absolutely necessary to clean each tooth thoroughly before sleeping. If there is an essential brushing throughout the day, it must be done before going to bed.

Dr. Armellini received her dental degree from the Central University of Venezuela. She received an MBA from the University of Michigan and embarked on a clinical fellowship in Implantology Prosthodontics at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto.


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