Causes for Change International promoting THE MOUTH: GATEWAY TO THE BODY
THE MOUTH: GATEWAY TO THE BODY For many Ecuadorian residents, access to oral care is a serious threat to their overall health. Causes for Change International is partnering with local community leaders, educators, clinicians and families to help meet immediate oral health needs and to promote good habits that will provide lasting changes for a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums.
THE MOUTH: GATEWAY TO THE BODYThe following are helpful hints to keep you healthy and smiling for years to come.
Four important habits for a healthy smile •Balanced Diet • Brushing • Flossing• Routine Dental Visits
DIET Limit between-meal snacks Avoid using sweet foods and drinks to reward your child If your child eats sweets, make sure it is with a meal (Saliva increases during meals and helps rinse food particles from the mouth) Snack on nutritious foods such as cheese, raw vegetables, plain yogurt or a piece of fruit
PROPER BRUSHING • Brushing removes dental plaque which are layers of bacteria that forms on teeth and gums.• It is recommended to brushfor 2 minutes, 2 to 3 times per day. • Replace your toothbrushevery 3 months or after being sick. • Use a soft bristle toothbrush
PROPER FLOSSING• Dental floss is a soft threadof silk or similar material that is used to clean between the teeth.• Dental floss helps remove food residue, bacteria andreaches in areas where your toothbrush cannot reach.• Dental floss helps maintaingood oral health and stronger gums.
ROUTINE DENTAL VISITSChildren are recommended to have regular dentalcheck-ups, including a visit to the dentist within sixmonths of the eruption of the first tooth, and no laterthan the child’s first birthdayPreventive care such as cleanings and fluoridetreatments provide children with ―smile‖ insuranceRoutine dental exams uncover problems that can beeasily treated in the early stages, when damage isminimal
TOOTH DECAY Tooth decay is preventable Bacteria in the mouth convert the sugar in foods and drinks into acid that attacks the teeth. Each time you eat and drink, acid can attack the teeth for 20 minutes or longer. After many attacks, tooth decay can develop.
SEALANTS Sealants are used to protect the chewing surfaces from tooth decay, the single most common chronic childhood disease. Your dentist can help prevent or reduce the incidence of decay by applying sealants to your childs teeth. A sealant is a clear or tooth- colored plastic material that is applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth where decay occurs most often. Sealants protect normal depressions and grooves in the teeth called pits and fissures, which are particularly susceptible to tooth decay.
FLUORIDE Fluoride may be ingested or applied topically. If foods containing fluoride (such as meat, fish, eggs, and tea leaves) are consumed, then fluoride enters the bloodstream and is eventually absorbed by the teeth and bones. Many communities add fluoride to the drinking water to ensure that the recommended levels are obtained. Today, studies prove water fluoridation continues to be effective in reducing tooth decay by 20-40%, even in an era with widespread availability of fluoride from other sources, such as fluoride toothpaste. Fluoridation is one public health program that actually saves money. An individual can have a lifetime of fluoridated water for less than the cost of one dental filling.
GINGIVITIS Gingivitis, the first stage of periodontal disease, commonly known as gum disease, starts when the bacteria in dental plaque irritate the gums and cause infection. Left untreated, gingivitis can lead to more serious conditions. Gingivitis can be reversed with professional treatment and good home oral care. However, if gingivitis is left untreated, it can advance to periodontitis
PERIODONTITIS When gingivitis is not treated, it can advance to "periodontitis" (which means "inflammation around the tooth.") In periodontitis, gums pull away from the teeth and form spaces (called "pockets") that become infected. The bodys immune system fights the bacteria as the plaque spreads and grows below the gum line. Bacterial toxins and the bodys natural response to infection start to break down the bone and connective tissue that hold teeth in place. If not treated, the bones, gums, and tissue that support the teeth are destroyed. The teeth may eventually become loose and have to be removed.
ORAL MANIFESTATIONSBaby Bottle Decay Baby Bottle Decay Wipe gums with gauze or a clean washcloth and water after feeding When teeth appear, brush daily with a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste Put child to bed with a bottle of water, not milk or juice
ORAL MANIFESTATIONSSoda Consumption Soda Consumption • Drink carbonated soft drinks and sweetened liquids (like fruit juice) in moderation. • Drink fluoridated water and use a fluoride toothpaste • Swish out your mouth with water to dilute the sugar and acid. • Use a straw to keep sugars and acids away from your teeth.
ORAL MANIFESTATIONSSoda Consumption Soda Consumption • Never consume soft drinks or juice at bedtime. (The liquid pools in your mouth and coats your tongue and teeth.) • Throw the cap away to prevent ongoing sipping. • Read the labels — sweetened drinks are high in sugar. • Get regular dental cleanings to remove plaque (bacteria) build- up on your teeth.
ORAL MANIFESTATIONSThumb Sucking Thumb Sucking Not a concern until about four years of age or when permanent teeth appear; after this time, it could cause dental changes
ORAL MANIFESTATIONSThrusting Thrusting Tongue thrust often results in an open bite and/or buck teeth. Pressure from tongue will continue to affect the overall jaw development as well as the tooth alignment leading to "bad bites‖. In the presence of gum (periodontal) infections, abnormal forces from the tongue will separate the front teeth and move them forward, as the weakened tooth support cannot withstand the forces.
ORAL CANCEROral cancer screening is a routine part of a dentalexamination. Regular check-ups, including an examinationof the entire mouth, are essential in the early detection ofcancerous and pre-cancerous conditions. You may have avery small, but dangerous, oral spot or sore and not beaware of it.Risk factors for the development of oral cancer include: * smoking * smokeless tobacco users * excessive consumption of alcohol * family history of cancer * excessive sun exposure, especially at a young age
DIABETESDiabetes can lower your resistance to infection and can slow thehealing processThe most common oral health problems associated with diabetesare: * tooth decay * periodontal disease * salivary gland dysfunction * fungal infections * lichen planus and lichenoid reactions (inflammatory skin disease) * infection and delayed healing * taste impairment
XEROSTOMIAReduced saliva flow that results in a dry mouth is a commonproblem among older adults. It is caused by certain medicaldisorders and is often a side effect of medications such asantihistamines, decongestants, pain killers and diuretics.Some of the common problems associated with dry mouth includea constant sore throat, burning sensation, problems speaking,difficulty swallowing, hoarseness or dry nasal passages. Leftuntreated, dry mouth can damage your teeth. Without adequatesaliva to lubricate your mouth, wash away food, and neutralize theacids produced by plaque, extensive decay can occur.
THE MOUTH: GATEWAY TO THE BODYThe mouth is a window into the health of the body. It can show signs of nutritional deficiencies or general infection. For example, systemic diseases – those that affect the entire body, such as diabetes, AIDS and Sjogren’s syndrome – may first become apparent because of mouth lesions or other oral problems. The mouth is filled with countless bacteria, some linked to tooth decay and periodontal disease. Researchers have found that periodontitis is linked with other health problems, such as cardiovascular disease, stroke and bacterial pneumonia. Likewise, pregnant women with periodontitis may be at increased risk of delivering preterm and/or low-birth-weight infants.
THE MOUTH: GATEWAY TO THE BODYSome researchers suspect that bacteria and inflammationlinked to periodontitis play a role in some systemic diseases orconditions. Likewise, diseases such as diabetes, blood celldisorders, HIV infections and AIDS can lower the body’sresistance to infection, making periodontal diseases moresevere.People with diabetes often have periodontal disease. Inaddition, there is evidence that people with diabetes are morelikely to develop and have more severe periodontitis thanthose without diabetes. Some studies suggest thatperiodontitis can make it difficult for people with diabetes tocontrol their blood sugar.
THE MOUTH: GATEWAY TO THE BODYGiven the potential link between periodontitis and systemic health problems, prevention may be an important step in maintaining overall health.
THE MOUTH: GATEWAY TO THE BODYCauses for Change International making a difference for generations to come