Often, as children, we were encouraged and compelled by our parents to ensure that we brushed and flossed our teeth twice a day. Although many of us back then might not have understood the insistence of our parents to inculcate these habits into us, as we got older we started to appreciate the good oral hygiene habits that we were exposed to.
1. Why is oral hygiene necessary?
Our oral and maxillofacial (jaws and face) components consist of 32 adult teeth and the upper and lower gums. When referring to oral health and oral hygiene, it is generally understood to reflect the condition of the teeth and gums.
The oral and maxillofacial cavity forms the starting point of our digestive system. Without the process of chewing of the jaws and the teeth, we would not be able to eat or digest the food that is necessary for our sustenance. In order to ensure that the rest of our body maintains its functions using the nutrition we derive from food, we first need to ensure that our teeth and gums are pain free and well maintained. Poorly managed oral hygiene can lead to conditions such as cavities, loss of teeth and gum inflammation that hinder our ability to eat healthy food.
The hindrance to eating however only forms the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the detrimental effects of poor oral hygiene. Some of the most common oral diseases and conditions are: