Are you seeing the dentist only when needed? How do you define a "dental need"?
Article written by: Dr. Leah Abigail Tampus Tudio
Health as defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) is “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”
So, what is Oral Health?
According to the WHO, it as “a state of being free from mouth and facial pain, oral and throat cancer, oral infection and sores, periodontal (gum) disease, tooth decay, tooth loss, and other diseases and disorders that limit an individual’s capacity in biting, chewing, smiling, speaking, and pscho- social well being”. A person cannot be considered healthy when he suffers dental pain. It is not uncommon in the dental office to see patients coming for tooth pain relief only - not recognizing other existing oral problems which might be another source of pain.
Oral health care is not limited to oral prophylaxis, fillings, nor to tooth extractions. The mouth is part of your body, infections from your teeth and gums can spread to other organs such as your lungs, heart and even to your brain. Not only that, many of the systemic conditions have oral manifestations and more often than not, dentists are often the first to detect and refer the patient for further pathological investigation and cure.
Today, more patients visit the dental office for cosmetic treatment as the demand for whiter and brighter smile rises. As a cosmetic dentist, I appreciate the trend as this gives more value to our practice, but, as a general dentist, I always would insist on checking the overall oral health of the patient first prior to cosmetic treatment. Not all patients can be a candidate for whitening, crowns or veneers. They may need other treatment beforehand and proper assessment should be done to study all the treatment options thus yielding better results.
Ignoring your oral health corresponds to ignoring your body’s need. With poor oral health, a person may suffer from poor nutrition due to the lack of appetite since you cannot eat properly when you are in pain or do not have teeth anymore. When you take care of your oral cavity, you just don’t keep your teeth but your bones as well. When a tooth is extracted, the bone surrounding it undergoes resorption which explains why edentulous people appear older than their age. No matter how good your prosthesis is, it will never be comparable to your natural teeth. The same goes with any other body part.
Take care of your teeth, they might be replaceable but they will never be the same. There are 24 hours in a day and giving 3 to 6 minutes for two to three times a day to brush your teeth, floss and rinse is not too much of your time. You have 365 days in a year, and going to the dentist twice a year will surely not cause a lot of damage to your hectic schedule. Many dental offices, such as MetroDental, are open Mondays to Sundays from 9m to 10pm.
Do not wait for your teeth to fall, save them while they are still there; do not neglect them as they are a part of you.
Have healthy teeth, be a healthier you.