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90% Indians suffer from infected gums

Ignore oral hygiene and you could be inviting heart disease, says a study conducted by British and American researchers. LIFE@WORK tells you why you should look after pearlies.

The average Indian family loves its mithai, but simple habits like brushing twice a day and flossing, are still alien. “And that’s why over 90% of Indians suffer from gum problems,” says DR SV Pradhan, consultant implantologist and cosmetic dentist at Hinduja Hospital, Mahim.

“While earlier, a combination of environmental and economic factors accounted for poor oral hygiene, today, you have no excuse for not looking after our teeth,” he says. Since the achievement and the maintenance of good oral health has long been recognized as important to optimal general health, there’s more reason than being unable to crack a walnut with your molars, to protect your teeth.

Bad teeth can give you:

Heart Disease – Various studies have found a direct co-relation between the teeth and heart. “Gum disease leads to increased level of C-reactive proteins (CRP), which creates plaque in arteries, and could in turn lead to heart disease.

Bacteria Trouble- Bacteria from the gum infection are known to enter the blood stream, and cause changes.

Pancreatic Cancer-American scientists have discovered a link between gum and disease, which is usually caused by poor oral hygiene, and pancreatic cancer, in men. The study, published in the latest issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, found that the men with the history of periodontal disease had a 64% increased risk of pancreatic cancer that men with no such history. And increased severity of periodontitis, for example with recent tooth loss, had the greatest risk.

*If you’ve had a knee replacement surgery, or suffered a stroke, you must pay extra attention to oral hygiene, or it could worsen your medical condition.


Brush up on oral hygiene

Brush in and up and down motion and nor sideways; the latter technique wears away the enamel at the gum margin. The former technique also helps the massage of the gums.

If you’ve had dental work done, use inter dental brushes, floss and water jets to clean between your teeth. Flossing prevents gum disease by removing food particles and the plaque.

If you have cavities, brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste.

Brush the tongue from back to front in a sweeping motion. This removes food particles and bacteria, which causes bad breath.

Brush your teeth after every meal or atleast twice a day.

Toothbrushes with short and long bristles are recommended since they clean the teeth thoroughly. Whichever brand of toothbrush you use, replace it every three months. If you are an aggressive brusher, use a medium to soft brush. Hard toothbrushes are advisable to only those people who brush their teeth very gently.

Kids or adults with reduced manual dexterity, should opt for an electronic toothbrush. Electronic tooth brushes clean effectively.

Make Sure You:

Get professional teeth clean up done every six months.

See your dentist regularly or twice a year. This way, any decay or damage can be caught in time.

If pregnant, take great care of your teeth, since hormonal changes can cause the conditions of gums to deteriorate rapidly.

If you have dentures, remember to get them adjusted by a dentist regularly, to maintain a proper fit and ensure that the gums do not swell or turn red and tender.

Food for teeth

*FRUITS, VEGETABLE and other fibrous food are good for the teeth.

*COFFEE, TEA, SMOKING, red wine or even an excessive intake of soya sauce can STAIN your teeth.

*Excessive intake of SWEETS can lead to CAVITIES.


A lax approach to oral hygiene can cause plaque, gingivitis, periodontitis, and mouth decay. Plaque that’s not removed turns into tartar, which can lead to periodontal (gum) disease. Gingivitis or inflamed/bleeding gums if ignored will progress into a serious condition.

Bad Teeth can give you a Heart Attack