The oral health promotion philosophy is a different approach to dentistry. It’s a preventive approach compared to traditional dentistry.
This philosophy was originated in the Scandinavian countries in the 70’s. It deals mainly with the understanding about the process of the dental decay and the disease on the gums.
In traditional dentistry, the dentist acts mainly as a mechanicist restorative agent. Patients go to the dentist to check for problems and fix them. In the end, they go home with zero understanding of what is going on in their mouth.
In the oral health promotion, the dentist acts more as a guide. We try to clarify and share knowledge with our patient, empowering them to intervene in the process of the disease by changing certain behaviours and perceptions about how it happens.
The prevalent diseases we have in our mouth are the dental decay and the disease on the gums.
Both of them are caused by bacteria that accumulate in the areas we don’t touch.
What happens is that we tend to concentrate our cleaning in the central areas and other areas we just don’t reach.
In the areas we don’t touch bacteria will develop and once they develop they will be able to cause the disease.
So, if we understand the process of the disease, we can intervene in this process and stop it from happening. We can have a very healthy oral cavity and a very good smile.
It is very common to think that we should not touch our gums when cleaning our mouth. But we definitely and imperatively have to touch our gums in our daily routine.
Sometimes we think that our gums are sensitive or we can cause recession (exposure of the roots of our teeth) if we brush around the gums.
Our gums will not bleed if they are healthy, and to keep them healthy we need to remove the bacterias that are hidden in the tiny space between the gum and the teeth which is called gingival sulcus.
If we avoid touching the gums or miss any area while brushing and flossing, the bacterias will start accumulating in these areas, our body will develop a defence (inflammation) towards them, and that is the reason our gums bleed, not because we are hurting it.
Recession of our gums has multiple causes and the traumatic brush is just one component of it. Furthermore, if we use soft or medium brushes and not put excessive force while brushing, there is no harm to the gingival tissue.
Try and check the results for yourself.
We all have very good teeth. Despite sometimes the facts leading us to conclude the opposite.
Dental decay and disease on the gums are totally preventable (apart from a minority of specific cases) and are considered behavioural diseases.
It means that we develop cavities and bleeding gums mainly because we misunderstand or were not informed about the roots of the problem.
Cleaning our mouth means clean “bacterias”. It sounds obvious, and we all might think we do it correctly. But, has your dentist or hygienist showed how and where to brush and floss properly? Had them demonstrated it with a brush in your own mouth? If not, ask them. It is important!
Generally, we concentrate in the chewing surface and the outside areas of our teeth and neglect the internal areas (close to the tongue in the lower and to the palate in the upper). Most important of all, the brush will never be able to remove bacterias between our teeth.
Keep in mind, “bacterias”.
London dentist registered in the UK since 2008. His mission is to improve patient health & appearance, self-confidence and overall quality of life.