By BILKE MULENGA
Poor oral hygiene poses long term consequences on a human being as it affects the mouth, mind, and subsequently affect the general health status.
It is fact that the absence of good oral hygiene may result into tooth decay and cause serious mouth diseases such as gingivitis and periodontitis among others.
According to World Health Organization (WHO) recent report on the burden of oral diseases worldwide and describes the influence of major socio-behavioural risk factors in oral health.
The report states that despite great improvements in the oral health of populations in several countries, global problems still persist.
The burden of oral disease is particularly high for the disadvantaged and poor population groups in both developing and developed countries, Zambia inclusive.
Chief Dental Therapist at the Ministry of Health headquarters in Lusaka Sackson Mayuni says tooth decay can cause discomfort, pain, and social isolation on the well-being of a person.
Mr Mayuni said also said poor oral hygiene can cause infection to the gums and afterward affect the whole mouth.
He said in an interview in Lusaka recently that untreated gum infection can eventually result in tooth loss and increase the risk of developing diabetes or heart diseases.
‘’Poor oral hygiene can lead to the build-up of harmful plaque-forming bacteria that can also be harmful to the normal health of a person,’’ he said.
The chief dentist said the recommended standard of brushing teeth is, ‘’twice-daily with a fluoride toothpaste helps reduce the bacteria and helps to prevent plaque formation.’’
Mr Mayuni said brushing tooth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste make (teeth) them to be more resistant to acids that cause tooth decay.
‘’On the other hand I can encourage people to have keen interest of going for check-ups because early detection of tooth decay is key to helping prevent or manage oral conditions,’’ he explained.
Mr Mayuni emphasized that regular dental check-ups help to ensure that issues such as tooth decay which cause gingivitis and periodontitis are identified and treated as early as possible.
The recommended standard for dental check-ups is once per year and those are done for free at most Government health facilities in Zambia.