Health Days 2011

The Gulf Oral Health Week
On March 27th, the GCC Ministries of Health marked the beginning of Gulf Oral Health Week. There are 1,117 dental clinics in the Kingdom's health facilities and 449 in hospitals, including 55 mobile clinics. In 2007, the number of specialized dental centers reached 19 Kingdomwide.  The total number of patient visits to dental centers was 167,005 during that same year. Gulf Oral Health Week runs from March 27th to April 2nd and seeks to increase the public’s awareness about oral diseases and how to prevent them. 

Official Date
From 22-4-1432 to 28-4-1423 corresponding 27-3- 2011 to 2-4-2011  

Teeth Reflect Health and Beauty 

Targeted Category 
  • Patients
  • General public  
  • Dental physicians and technicians 
  • Employees in health sectors, associations and decision makers 
  • Draw attention to oral and dental issues
  • Raise awareness about common oral diseases and ways of prevention
  • Motivate people to change their behaviour and give needed attention to oral and dental health 
Related links: 
  • Saudi Dental Society
  • Ministry of Health Statistical Yearbook 2007
Scientific Article 
The Gulf Oral Health Week 2011 
Teeth Reflect Health and Beauty 
Teeth are a great blessing from God. The primary function of teeth is to prepare food for digestion by chewing (mastication) and plays a major role in speech and smile beauty. The more teeth are clean the more it becomes healthy and strong. Gingivitis and tooth cavity are main reasons for loose teeth. Cavity occurs due to decomposition of sugar found in food and produces acid that harms the tooth surface (enamel) and cause cavity. According to World Health Organization   2003 report, oral diseases are considered the 4th therapeutic costly diseases in industrialized countries and increased in the elderly because of dry mouth resulted from taking certain medications.  

What is the relation between Oral and body health? 
Most bacteria found in the mouth are not harmful. Body's natural defenses and proper oral hygiene (i.e. daily brushing and flossing) control such bacteria. However, harmful bacteria still grows and cause cavity and gingivitis, not to mention used drugs which reduce salivation and effect bacterial normal balance in mouth and make it easy for bacteria to go into blood stream.      

Who are the most commonly affected people with oral diseases? 
  • Heart Valve Damage patients: bacteria exit bloodstream due to gingivitis which may cause serious health complications such as Endocarditic.     
  • Cardiovascular patients: some medical researches indicate that a cardiopathy, atherosclerosis or brain stroke has to do with teeth inflammation.    
  • Diabetes: reduces the body's resistance to infection and makes gums more at risk to infection. 
  • HIV and other immunologic diseases: causes many oral diseases such as mucous membranes disease for patients with HIV. 
What are the most common problems that affect teeth and ways of treatment? 

First: Yellow Teeth: 
  • Food and Drinks: some food and drinks changes teeth color: i.e. coffee, tee and soda.   
  • Tobacco Products: smoking and chewing tobacco products.  
  • Poor Oral Hygiene: incorrect brushing or flossing will not remove plaque, coffee or tobacco stains on teeth.       
  • Diseases: some diseases may affect teeth enamel and dentin, thus changes teeth color. 
  • Treatment and diagnoses: some methods of treatment and diagnoses may affect teeth color, i.e. head and neck radiotherapy or chemotherapy.   
  • Medication: 
    • Antibiotics: i.e. Tetracycline, especially when prescribed for children less than 8 years old.  
    • Mouthwash: especially which contains Chlorhexidine and Cetylpyridinium. 
    • Mental illness medication
    • Some kinds of blood pressure medication 
  • Medical Substances: Some kinds of medical substances used in Dentistry, such as silver teeth fillings (Amalgam) and substances contains of  Silver Sulfide which form black or gray stains on teeth.       
  • Aging: over the years, enamel will be weak and gradually disappear, leaving the natural yellow color of dentin.  
  • Excessive use of fluoride: found in toothpastes and mouthwash.  
  • Accidents: when a child fall down or had a bumping accident, this will hamper the growth of the enamel layer, which is one of the most important factors that help to maintain the natural color of the teeth. 
How to Prevent Stained, Yellow Teeth
  • Proper dental hygiene: quit smoking and drinking coffee. Brush and floss your teeth regularly and have dental cleanings every 6 months.  
  • If your teeth are turning yellow, although you are adopting a proper oral hygiene, then you must seek immediate dental care. 
Second: Bad Breath 
Bad breath results from poor oral care habits, some kinds of diseases, smoking or eating certain foods, especially ones like garlic, onions or diary products. The good news is that bad breath can often be prevented by discover causes and follow some simple steps.  
Why bad habits cause bad breath?
  • Bad breath is caused by odor-producing bacteria that grow in the mouth. When you don't brush and floss regularly, bacteria accumulate on the bits of food left in your mouth and between your teeth. The sulfur compounds released by these bacteria make your breath smell.
  • Failure to clean dentures regularly lead to odor-producing bacteria accumulation. 
  • Smoking and chewing tobacco products also causes denture odor, yellow your teeth, irritate your gum tissue and weakens your ability to taste food.
Diseases Associated with Denture Odor:  
Denture odor can be caused by the following: 
  • Teeth decay 
  • Unstable denture 
  • Mouth infections 
  • Xerostomia-dry mouth:  (a medical condition lead to not producing enough saliva in the mouth) Saliva is important to moisten and cleanse our mouths and prevent infection by controlling oral bacteria. When we don't produce enough saliva, oral bacteria waste remains in the mouth and causes denture odor. 
Causes of xerostomia:
  • Certain medications
  • Certain viral infections
  • Salivary glands problems
  • Respiratory infections (chronic sinusitis)
  • Diabetes
  • Liver or kidney problems 
How can I prevent denture odor? 
You can prevent denture odor by the following: 
  • Follow proper oral hygiene: Brush with fluoride toothpaste (or use mouth wash) at least twice a day to remove food debris and plaque.
  • Brush after every meal: you may keep an extra tooth brush at work or school to brush your teeth after launch. 
  • Don’t forget to use a tongue scraper since bacteria accumulate on the tongue.    
  • Use a new tooth brush every two or three months. 
  • Floss once a day: flossing helps to reach bacteria build-up and food debris on teeth that are hard to reach by the tooth brush and the areas between your teeth.  
  • Remove denture before going to sleep. Make sure to clean it well before use. 
  • Visit your dentist twice a year dental examination.   
  • Quit smoking. Ask your dentist for helpful tips to quit such harmful habit.   
  • Drink enough water - again this increases the saliva which contributes significantly to moisturize your mouth and throat.
  • Eat and drink dairy products, preferably sugar-free.  
Third: Bleeding gums: 
There are many reasons causes bleeding gums. However, the most common one is bacterial infection. Due to poor oral hygiene, plaque (bacteria) build-up on teeth and gums. The sulfur compounds released by these bacteria cause gingivitis, which leads to bleeding gum. If plaque is not removed by the dentist, it will worsen the problem of bleeding leading gum diseases.   

What are the common causes for bleeding gums? 
  • Gingivitis caused by plaque bacteria 
  • Accidents
  • Blood pressure and Cardiology medication
  • Poorly fitting dentures 
  • Leukemia 
  • Rough teeth brushing or flossing
  • Vitamin C or K deficiency
  • Hormones disruption during adolescence or pregnancy    
How serious is bleeding gums?
Bleeding gums needs intensive care. Neglecting treatment may increase this problem and lead to periodontal disease which is considered the main reason for loose teeth. Recent studies proved that chronic periodontal diseases have to do with cardiac arrest.  

How to avoid bleeding gums:
Main steps:
  • Brush your teeth after every meal using a soft tooth brush
  • Floss at least once a day 
  • Visit you dentist every 6 months at least to remove plaque build-up on teeth that are hard to reach by brushing    
  • Rinse your mouth with warm water and salt  
  • Avoid sugary food to prevent plaque build-up on your teeth  
  • Eat enough high fiber food which strengthens gum tissue. (i.e. apple, carrot, brown bread)  
  • Quit smoking 
  • Visit your dentist if you your denture poorly fit 
How to take care of your teeth: 
  • Brush your teeth twice a day especially after going to sleep and after meals. Use Fluoride tooth paste. 
  • To properly brush your teeth, tilt the brush at a 45° angle against the gum line and sweep and roll the brush softly on the inner, outer and chewing surface of your upper and lower teeth. Brush your tongue from back to front to remove bacteria and freshen breath.     
  • Keep your toothbrush clean and dry. Avoid covering it directly after using to avoid bacteria build-up  
  • Change your tooth brush every 3-4 months especially when brush bristles become weak.
  • Floss daily to clean gum line which are hard to reach by toothbrush
  • Eat healthy food (i.e. fruit and vegetables). Avoid drinking coffee and sodas.  
Last Update : 22 June 2011 12:16 PM
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