Oral health is an essential aspect of overall health and well-being. Betel nut chewing and smoking, which is prevalent in Myanmar, can have a significant impact on oral health, causing a range of oral health problems such as staining of teeth, gum disease, tooth decay, halitosis and oral cancer.
According to a 2019 report on oral health in Myanmar by the World Health Organisation (WHO), dental caries, also known as tooth decay or dental cavities, and periodontal diseases, caused by infections and inflammation of the gums and bone that surround and support the teeth, are common oral diseases in Myanmar. The report stated that 22.8% of the population aged five years and above have untreated caries, while 8.9% of the population aged 15 years and above have severe periodontal disease.
Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to prevent these issues and keep your smile healthy.
Tooth decay, also known as cavities, is a common oral health issue. This occurs when bacteria in the mouth feed on sugar and produce acid that erodes tooth enamel. To prevent tooth decay, it's important to brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, floss daily, and limit sugary foods and drinks.
Gum disease, also known as periodontal disease, is an infection of the gums that can lead to tooth loss if left untreated. Symptoms of gum disease include swollen, red, or bleeding gums, bad breath, and loose teeth. To prevent gum disease, it's important to brush and floss regularly, visit your dentist for regular cleanings and check-ups, and quit smoking if you're a smoker.
Bad breath, also known as halitosis, is another common oral health issue. This can be caused by poor oral hygiene, gum disease, or certain foods and drinks. To prevent bad breath, it's important to brush and floss regularly, use an antimicrobial mouthwash, and stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.
Remember, prevention is key to maintaining good oral health, so make sure to take care of your teeth and gums every day.