KOCHI: In India, oral cancer incidents happen at an alarming rate. This is especially on the high amid old age diseases, primarily in males. The various systemic diseases not only influence the patient’s ability to maintain oral hygiene and the promotion of oral health but can also lead to certain oral complications. Though impairments are not life-threatening, they affect a person’s quality of life to a serious extent. Some of the common oral problems are:
Root caries: This is caused by exposure of the tooth root to decay-producing acids. The roots become exposed as gum tissue recedes from the tooth. Roots do not have any enamel to protect them and are more prone to decay than the crown of the tooth.
Periodontal disease: Caused by dental plaque and made worse by food left in teeth, use of tobacco products, poor-fitting removable dentures, fixed prosthesis and clasps and certain diseases such as anaemia, cancer, and diabetes. The ultimate complication is tooth lossUneven jaw bone: This is caused by not replacing missing teeth. This allows the rest of the teeth to drift and shift into open spaces.
Residual Ridge Resorption: There is a rapid rate of ridge resorption as age advances. Artificial teeth or dentures may get loosened periodically and frequent relining or refabrication will be required.Denture-induced stomatitis: Ill-fitting dentures, poor dental hygiene, or a buildup of the fungus Candida albicans causes the condition.
Oral Candidiasis: Other than dentures, diseases or drugs that affect the immune system can trigger the overgrowth of the fungus Candida albicans in the mouth.Discolouration of teeth: Caused to some extent, by changes in dentin that underlie the tooth enamel and by a lifetime of consuming stain-causing foods and beverages. Dry mouth: Dry mouth is caused by reduced saliva flow, which can be a result of cancer treatments that use radiation to the head and neck areaand medication side effects.
Diminished taste sensation: While advancing age impairs the sense of taste, diseases, medications and dentures can also contribute to this sensory loss.The author is a Consultant Periodontist in Thiruvananthapuram. Views expressed are his own.
Oral health = Overall health
Brush at least twice a day with a fluoride-containing toothpaste
Use dental floss or interdental brushes at least once a day
Rinse with an antiseptic mouthwash once or twice a day
Visit your dentist once in 6 months for cleaning and oral checkup
Proper communication to the dentist regarding medical problems
Keep blood sugar and blood pressure under control
Keep the dentures clean and inspect them frequently
Frequent self-examination for any white and red oral lesions or ulcerations
Refrain from smoking and other forms of tobacco and areca nut use
Seek dental treatment without decay whenever any dental problem is detected and avoid self-treatment