ORAL PREVENTION

IMI Clinic

What is oral prevention?

Recognising and preventing oral diseases is one of the best ways to not only ensure a healthy mouth, but also a healthy body in general.
Prevention is understood as the series of interventions undertaken to favour and maintain the state of wellbeing and avoid the onset of diseases.

Primary, secondary and tertiary prevention

There are three levels of prevention: primary, secondary and tertiary.

  • Primary prevention aims to prevent the onset of disease by changing the everyday habits of the patient that could compromise  their health. It is based on sharing information with them to educate and motivate them to take better care of their oral health.
  • Secondary prevention aims to block and contain  damage to a minimum, by re-establishing good oral health
  • Tertiary prevention is linked to rehabilitation and the prevention of relapses. With this type of prevention damage already exists and is in the advanced stage.

All types of prevention start with having a good oral hygiene routine at home – over time, the accumulation of bacterial plaque risks triggering inflammation of the gums and the formation of tooth decay.

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Rules for correct oral hygiene at home

In order to keep our teeth healthy, it is important to brush your teeth after every meal, as well as using dental floss, picksters, or mouth wash. It is important to use correct brushing techniques:   both external and internal surfaces of the teeth should be brushed as it is the least visible parts that encourage plaque and food residue to accumulate.  

Dental floss should also be used consistently to free the spaces between the teeth of any food particles. Lastly, mouth wash can be used according to your needs or by following your dentist’s instructions. 

The mouth is a delicate ecosystem that must be protected

prevention pyorrhoea periodontitis

The mouth is a delicate ecosystem which requires constant care and attention.

In addition to maintaining good oral hygiene it is also necessary to adopt a healthy lifestyle and habits.

It is essential to have a balanced diet which is rich in calcium and fluoride (milk, yoghurt, fish, spinach), vitamins (A, C, E, and D) and protein (white meat,vegetables) to help keep teeth and gums healthy.

It is also important to manage carbohydrate intake  as the digestion of sugar  produces acid that is harmful to dental enamel and can cause tooth decay.

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Tests exist that allow us to determine the individual’s risk of developing tooth-decay diseases. By conducting saliva tests, it is possible to diagnose the patient’s susceptibility to tooth decay in order to take appropriate preventive measures such as:

  • Reducing the sugar intake;
  • Increasing the fibre intake;
  • Using sugar-free chewing-gum to stimulate salivation;
  • Using fluoride-based toothpaste and mouthwash;
  • Applying fluoride gel to seal dental furrows.

As well as maintaining good oral hygiene at home it is also necessary to have check-ups and periodic oral-hygiene sessions with a dentist depending on your needs. However, in general, check-ups are required at least twice a year in order to determine any conditions which, if amended and treated in time, can help reduce and avoid any serious problems.

Periodontitis: prevention is key

Periodontitis is one of the most common oral diseases which affects a large proportion of the UK population – around 10% of the population suffers from the more severe forms of the disease which cause loss of supporting bone

However, it can be intercepted early in order to prevent the onset of damage to the tissues supporting the teeth. This is possible by undergoing a genetic test – via which the profile of periodontal risk is identified for the patient – and a microbiological test that highlights the quality and quantity of the periodontal pathogens.

In addition to creating periodontal infections, these bacteria are also able to penetrate the gingival tissues and from there enter into the blood stream, settling in organs and systems far from where they started off in the mouth. This contributes to the pathogenesis and exacerbation of systemic conditions such as myocardial heart attacks, diabetes, obesity, and premature birth.

By adopting preventive measures it is therefore possible to keep not only our mouth safe, but also your entire body.

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