Among several health issues that the average local Pakistani has to face, dental problems are considered to be the most common health issues that affect almost every individual at some stage of life. Whether it’s cavities affecting children, braces affecting teenagers or a chipping away of the teeth affecting adults, these concerns have given rise to the dentists who are thriving on the money of locals who were unaware of the importance of regular checkups earlier on. Here are a few serious dental disorders that can become constant reason for visiting a dentist and we should all be wary of before they are even discovered.
The teeth are protected by a strong layer of enamel but if this layer becomes weak and breaks, it results in caries. This is most common in children under twelve since their diet consists of sugary processed foods which may result in the formation of lactic acid if those sugars aren’t properly removed. It is vital here to stress the importance of thorough brushing and flossing since extreme measures may lead to root canal filling which is often a long and painful procedure.
Periodontal disease is a wide spread problem in Pakistan, especially in rural areas, where there is a lack of proper nutrition and health care facilities for the teeth. It is caused by a chronic bacterial infection, with its onset in children under fifteen. If left untreated, it may affect the gums and bones in that area, causing loss of teeth once the individual reaches thirty. Preventive measures including those that are recommended for all types of disease, such as good oral hygiene, healthy diet and regular checkups so that if the disease is detected at an earlier stage, it does not persist for too long.
Edentulism refers to being partially or completely toothless. This is common in Pakistan since it occurs in countries with high levels of periodontal disease. Even if the teeth are decay free, the bone supporting the teeth may reabsorb and completely vanish, resulting in tooth loss. It is the reason why dentures are often commonly seen in people in their late seventies and eighties. This may be prevented by using the same measures as periodontal diseases since the root cause is the same in both.
Fluorosis or mottled enamel is caused by excessive exposure of fluoride during the formation of the enamel. The primary symptom is tooth discoloration caused by depletion of the enamel. This condition typically occurs in children under eight years of age, and preventive measures include buying toothpastes or mouth washes that do not have increased amounts of fluoride in them.
Perhaps the most severe case of dental disabilities is the presence of oral cancer. It appears as a sore in the mouth due to high levels of growth cells that damage surrounding tissues of the mouth. According to webmd, includes “cancers of the lips, tongue, cheeks, floor of the mouth, hard and soft palate, sinuses, and pharynx (throat), can be life threatening if not diagnosed and treated early”. The symptoms may include swelling, bleeding, numbness, difficulty in chewing or swallowing and drastic weight loss. Smoking, drinking and chewing on tobacco based substances should be strictly avoided to prevent oral cancers.
In Pakistan, dental issues need to be addressed not only by the individuals themselves but also by the state by providing better dental care facilities and treatment centers. It has become a business and only a certain class can afford it due to its unreliability and unavailability in the urban sector. More than anything else, awareness needs to be spread about the harmful effects of tooth related problems and how a healthy diet and oral hygiene can make a huge difference.