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Oral health problems arise mainly as a result of two oral diseases: Dental caries and periodontal or Gum disease. Every adult in the world has experience of either one disease or both. Satisfactory oral health, which is the goal of modern dental care, is difficult to achieve not only because of increase in oral diseases, but also because of lack of preventive programes.       

This is where the importance of personal oral hygiene comes into play. Maintenance of oral hygiene has been an objective of man since the dawn of civilization. There is increasing public awareness of the value of personal oral hygiene. People brush their teeth for a number of reasons: to feel fresh and confident, to have a nice smile, and to avoid bad breath and disease. Oral cleanliness is important for the preservation of oral health as it removes microbial plaque which is the main causative agent of dental caries and gum disease. One gram of plaque contains approximately 1011 bacteria.

Daily Oral Hygiene maintenance by dental flossing, tooth brushing, and mouth rinsing are the most common measures for preventing dental caries and periodontal diseases. From a practical viewpoint, it is generally recommended that patients brush their teeth at least twice daily. Another adjunct to regular brushing and flossing is the regular use of oral irrigation devices and electric toothbrush, which has the potential to enhance both plaque removal and patient motivation. Brushing the tongue with tooth brush constitutes an important measure in the maintenance of oral hygiene.

Oral health is an important and often overlooked component of a person’s general health and well-being. The relationship between oral and general health has been increasingly acknowledged during the past two decades. Several studies have linked poor oral health with cardiovascular disease, poor glycaemic control in diabetics, low birth-weight pre-term babies, and a number of other conditions, including rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis. Oral infections are also common among individuals suffering from a range of chronic conditions, including cancer and infection with human immunodeficiency virus, as well as patients with ventilator-associated pneumonia. It is therefore, important for physicians to give increasing attention to oral health. Furthermore, an oral infection may provide the physician with clues for diagnosis of a systemic disease.

National Oral hygiene day introduced to commemorate the birth anniversary of Dr Shankwalker who was born on August 1st with the prime objective to spread the message of importance of oral health and to curb the worrisome neglect of the oral health. It is said that the mouth is the mirror of the body. Therefore, good oral hygiene is essential for good oral health, and the routine control of dental plaque is fundamental.

“Every tooth in a man’s head is more valuable than a diamond.” – Miguel de Cervantes

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