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Oral Hygiene Problems, Importance of saliva



ORAL HYGIENE PROBLEMSHaving good oral hygiene is an essential part of our life.  Neglecting oral health can lead to more problems than you think. Oral hygiene includes taking good care of your teeth as well as your gums. Every person should brush his/her teeth twice a day with proper brushing techniques. Those who are more prone to decayed teeth should gargle thoroughly after eating or drinking anything. The need to maintain oral hygiene may vary from person to person. Salivary thickness, amount of calcium in your teeth, type of diet, alignment of teeth, and genetic constitution determine how easily your teeth may decay. Some people may get a hard deposit on the teeth instead of tooth decay in case of poor oral health.  Both are equally harmful in the long run and hence one should visit the dentist every 6 months for a check-up.

Dental decay in the initial stages damages the upper 2 layers of the teeth. If ignored it may lead to infection in the vital areas of the tooth commonly referred to as pulp. This can cause severe pain which may result in swelling or severe infection. Such teeth can be treated by root canal treatment and may require removal too in some cases. Hard deposits in the teeth result in pyorrhoea or periodontitis. It alters the gum attachment to the bone leading to loss of bone structure that holds the tooth. This may in time result in the early loss of a tooth. Front lower teeth are especially prone to such loss. This can be prevented by regular brushing and cleaning the gaps between teeth with floss or interdental brush or water pick.

Importance of saliva

Importance of salivaA saliva is an essential tool of our body. It plays an important role in digestion through salivary enzymes. The salivary fluid contains Mucus, Electrolytes, White Blood Cells, Water, and Enzymes. The salivary apparatus secrete saliva and reach the oral cavity by salivary ducts. It is one of the main parts of our body.  Saliva is produced by salivary glands and has physical and chemical properties.  Saliva and Blood both in the body come from the same origin. Any alteration in the salivary flow or composition is an indication of disease.  The thickness and smell of saliva are an indication of distinct diseases and the state of the body.

Few important functions of saliva

The man function of saliva is immunity.  Salivary forms mucosal pellicle that helps in the immune defense of the oral mucosa. Human saliva contains several physicochemical agents that protect oral tissues against noxious compounds. saliva has the role of lubrication in that it lubricates the hard and soft tissue of the mouth and maintains its moisture. The antimicrobial and lubricating functions of saliva are maintained mainly by resting; saliva results in a flushing effect and the clearance of oral debris and noxious agents. Saliva has few digestive elements that promote the digestion process. Saliva acts on the taste receptors on the tongue and is involved in the transport of taste substances and protection of the taste receptor. Human saliva has an additional role in Gastro-Intestinal functions of taste, enzymatic digestion, mastication, bolus formation, and swallowing. Saliva can be a diagnostic tool. It is non-invasive and helps in the identification of various diseases in the human body.  Salivary flow flushes out all the Bacteria and debris in the oral cavity. It also prevents the mouth from dryness. Both these properties help the tooth from not getting t decayed.

Stimulation of salivary flow washes out food debris and acids.  There’s an increase in the amount and concentration of bicarbonate buffer and remineralizing ions. Clinical studies have revealed that eating sugar-free gum stimulates the salivary glands to produce a strong flow of saliva. The effect of stimulation is to upsurge the concentration of bicarbonate in the saliva entering the mouth. When the concentration of bicarbonate increases the pH of saliva increases with buffering action.   The saliva is, consequently, much more effective in neutralizing and buffering acid-rich foods.

Saliva plays a main role in pellicle formation.  And protects the teeth from any form of decay.


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