KARACHI – Around 10 per cent Pakistanis never clean their teeth, while about 36 per cent of the Pakistani population clean their teeth daily, irrespective of the method employed, health experts believe.
About 54 per cent clean their teeth either on alternate days, weekly or monthly. The health of mouth, teeth and gums (Oral Health) is essential as it is linked to general health. The main cause of bleeding gum is the buildup of plaque at the gum line. Pan and chalia (areca nuts) eating, smoking, Ghutka and tobacco lead to oral cancer. Improper hygiene causes oral infections, such as tooth decay and gum disease.”
These views were expressed by Dr M Rafique Moosa, Assistant Professor Department of at Baqai Medical University, while speaking at the 22nd Public Awareness Seminar on “Oral Health” held at Dr. Panjwani Center for Molecular Medicine and Drug Research (PCMD), University of Karachi (UoK) on Thursday. The seminar was jointly organised by PCMD-UoK and Virtual Education Project Pakistan (VEPP) under the umbrella of Information Center, International Center for Chemical and Biological Sciences (ICCBS), UoK. Health professionals, students, research scholars, NGO representatives, and general public attended the program.
Dr Moosa said that teeth were so important part of the body, as mastication, speech and esthetic were owing to teeth. He said that plaque was usually called a sticky colourless layer of harmful bacteria that stuck to teeth especially near the gum line and between teeth.
“It’s a continuous process which accumulates on our teeth and gums. If plaque is not removed, it may become hard and is called calculus (tartar) which can only be removed by a clinician. Plaque and tartar will harm teeth and gums if it is not cleaned off regularly. Some of major dental complains includes tooth decay, tooth mobility, bad breath, pain and sensitivity, swelling, bleeding, discolored teeth and missing teeth,” he maintained.
He declared smoking and use of Pan, chahlia, Ghutka and tobacco as culture hazards, and advised the citizens to avoid eating these hazardous things which might cause fatal diseases like oral cancer and oral submucous fibrosis.
He said, “The citizens are advised to consult their dentists every six months for routine dental check up for better dental health. Everyone needs to brush twice daily, before breakfast and before going to bed, while the use of dental floss is key for dental health. Reduction in the frequency of sugar intake is a major part of the preventive measures”.
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