Saturday, 8 October 2011


Oral Hygiene
The oral cavity or buccal cavity is bounded by the lips in front, the cheeks on the sides, the mandibles at the floor of the mouth, the palantine bones at the roof and the pharynx at the back. The mouth contains the tongue, the teeth, the gums and the openings of the salivary glands.

The teeth consists of three part - the crown, the neck and the root. The outer white part is the enamel, inner to the enamel is a hard substance called dentine and inside to the dentine is the pulp cavity which contains the blood vessels and nerves. The root is surrounded by the gums.
The buccal cavity is connected to the nasal cavity through the posterior nares, to the oesophagus and trachea through their openings. The two Eustachian tubes open from the pharynx to the middle ear.


Local Infections
The mouth presents all requirements for bacterial growth such as warmth, moisture, food supply from the residual foods on and between the teeth and a protected environment. The number of bacteria in the mouth depends upon the degree of cleanliness of the mouth. A very neglected mouth can cause various types of infections in the oral cavity.

Gingivitis : Inflammation of the gums.
Glossitis : Inflammation of the tongue.
Root abscess : Pus formation in the root of the teeth.
Stomatitis : Inflammation of the mucus membrane of the mouth.
Cancrum oris : Gangrenous stomatitis.

Dental caries
Bacillus acidophiles, a normal inhabitant of the mouth cavity acts on the carbohydrate material that has been left on the surfaces, pits and fissures of the teeth, produce lactic acid that dissolves the tooth structure.Later this will form cavities reach the pulp, pain ensures and the pulp cavity dies. Once the decay has started there is no cure.

Periodontal diseases
This is also known as 'Pyorrhoea' or pus formation in the sockets of teeth. This is the common cause for the loss of teeth in people over 40 years of age. It develops in four stages.
Gingivitis, characterised by the bleeding gums is the first stage. Periodontists is the second stage in which there is inflammation if the tissue that supports and surrounds the teeth. In the third stage acute necrotizing  ulcerative gingivitis develops which cause mobility of the teeth, purulent discharges and tissue atrophy. The patient may experience severe pain. Destruction of the teeth supporting structures is the fourth stage. The peridontium (gums) atrophies to the point that appears to have completely receded away from the tooth. Without adequate supporting structure, the teeth become loose and they fall out.
Formation of sordes
 Brown crusts which are formed on the teeth and lips are called sordes. It is a collection of food , mucus and bacteria. Lack of oral hygiene, insufficient intake of fluids in illness, the drying of mucus membrane particularly in case of mouth breathing are the common cause of formation of sore and crusts on the teeth and gums.
Formation of calculus
In neglected mouth, a sticky colourless layer of mucus material containing streptococcus forms on the teeth. If it is allowed to remain on the teeth it becomes calcified. This calcified, hard and tenacious material is called calculus (tartar). Ordinary brushing will not remove this calculus. It needs a cleaning by dentist. Calculus is a primary cause for gum diseases and dental caries. 
  •  A clean mouth makes a person feel clean and comfortable. A set of sound teeth is a valuable asset because it contributes to the personal appearance. Good oral hygiene makes a person feel socially acceptable and to have self respect. Hence it is advised to have brushing of teeth in the morning as well as in the evening. The mouth should be rinsed after every meal to dislodge any food particle left between the teeth.
  • Prevent dehydration of the tissues by the administration of enough fluids.
  • Care must be taken in brushing the teeth, not to cause any injury to the gums by the hard bristles. After brushing the teeth, the gums should be massaged with the fingers to stimulate the circulation.
  • Care must be taken to select a good dentifrice. Dentifrices clean the mouth through mechanical action rather than by chemical action on the bacteria.
  • The brushing of teeth should be done in such a way that the brush reaches all five surfaces of every teeth - the inner surface, the outer surface, the two sides, the lower surfaces of the upper row and the upper surface of the lower row. Brushing is done from the gum to the enamel.
  • The use of emollients such as creams, aids in softening the dry lips and prevent cracking of lips.
  • For healthy teeth and gums a well balanced diet is necessary.

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