From the Doctors Desk

     A perfect smile is a great confidence booster and improves the overall sense of physical mental and social well being.

     It is often thought only those in acute and chronic pain should visit a dentist but recent research suggests that the health of one's mouth mirrors the condition of a vast number of systemic diseases.

     The physical and chemical process of digestion begins inside our mouth and the overall status of periodontal (gum) health and teeth condition reveals a number of internal diseases which often go unnoticed if left untreated.

Some such conditions are -

A. Diabetes - Periodontal(gum) health detoriation is considered the sixth complications of Diabetes

B. Nutritional Deficiencies and Osteoporosis - Recurrent ulcerations, Alveolar bone destruction, Swollen spongy gums often reveal underlying deficiency of Riboflavin, Niacin, Ascorbic Acid, Calcium, Fluoride etc.

C. Cancerous and precancerous conditions - Lichen planus, Leukoplakia, candidiasis and squamous cell carcinoma are some such benign and malignant conditions.

D. HIV/Aids - Kaposi's sarcoma, linear gingivitis, periodontitis, candidiasis are the common signs of the killer disease which go unnoticed if not diagnosed early.

E. Cardiac and renal ailments - Heart valves can easily be infected by the notorious viridans group of streptococci which reside in the gum crevices, thus maintenance of oral hygiene is essential.

F. Digestion problems - Since digestive enzymes like amylase start the chemical process of digestion in the mouth and the mechanical grinding is done by well balanced teeth an uncared oral health often leads to problems like irritable bowel syndrome, malabsorption, gastric, peptic ulcer etc.

Thus to enjoy a whiter and brighter smile prevent halitosis (bad breath) and improve our general health let us pledge to improve our oral hygiene via a few simple steps -

1. Brushing your teeth for 2-3 minutes, twice daily with fluoridated toothpaste.

2. Flossing daily to remove plaque from places inaccessible to your brush.

3. Eat a healthy diet enriched with nutrients and avoid refined sugars and in between snacking of meals.

4. Avoid tobacco and related products and quit habits of smoking, chewing tobacco and alcohol intake.

5. Regular dental checkups every six months, sometimes more frequently if required.