Smoking and lack of exercise are key drivers in aggravating cases of poor oral hygiene, says one dentist
As many as one-fifth of patients at one Dubai dental practice have poor oral hygiene. Dr Mohammad Salem Mansour, Founder & Medical Director at Alchimie Polyclinic, says the city’s residents do not understand the importance of oral health.
“Oral health is often neglected and hence its importance is underestimated,” he said in an interview to GN Focus. “The mouth is the primary gateway for nutritional intake, if you are unable to chew your food well, this will lead to gastrointestinal problems, thus resulting in mal-absorption, malnutrition, and vitamin deficiency which in turn affects the general health with allergic reactions such as asthma, hay fever and heart diseases.”
There is a lack of detailed public statistics related to the root causes of oral manifestations. However, amongst the most notable health problems linked to poor oral hygiene are heart disease, respiratory problems, endocrinal disease, gum disease, deficiencies of Vitamin D and calcium, which affect the formation of bones and teeth, chronic infections and acute infection of the oral cavity, as well as coagulation of blood which results in the risk of excessive bleeding during surgery.
“At Alchimie polyclinic, around 20 per cent of our cases are related to oral hygiene, with this percentage increasing depending on the patient’s lifestyle, with smoking and lack of exercise being key drivers in aggravating these cases. Moreover, flossing and applying proper brushing techniques are key to basic oral hygiene and avoiding cavity cases,” Dr Mansour adds.
Periodically visiting the dentist is a necessity to prevent oral and systemic health problems. Alchimie experts advise regular check-ups at least every three months to focus on preventative and effective healthcare and overall wellness.
The most common indicators of poor oral health include multiple caries and dental abscess, early loss of dentition leading to malocclusions and problems with the temporomandibular joint, as well as malnutrition and chronic and acute oral inflammations that may lead to systemic diseases.
Dr Mansour says authorities are doing their bit to improve public health. “While the UAE works and promotes a healthy lifestyle, the ministry of health activates a number of initiatives such as its most recent campaign titled YourHealthComesFirst targeting excessive sugar consumption,” he says. “Indeed, the widespread presence of high sugar products and ease of access to such products amongst the youth is a major issue to the general oral health.”
The clinic leverages its efforts to support the Dubai healthcare sector in fulfilling Dubai’s 2021 vision, by being an active associate of the Dubai Health Experience.