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‘If Justin Bieber can wear braces, so can you’

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Dr Amrita Gogia of Medanta Medicity busts common dental myths in a webinar on oral health hosted by Apeejay Stya University

Apeejay Stya University, along with Rotaract Club and NSS, recently organised a Health and Wellness webinar on Oral Health in association with Medanta Medicity. 

Dr Amrita Gogia, head of department, Dental Science, Medanta Medicity, addressed a seminar on the topic ‘Oral Health- Myths Busted’ in which she began with clarifying about common myths related to dental cavities. For instance, she busted myths such as pain being a characteristic of cavity.

A dental cavity, said Dr Gogia, begins at the enamel, the outer layer of the teeth. It is painless in the initial stage.  However a person is alerted by pain only when the cavity reaches the pulp, the innermost part of the tooth in contact with nerves and blood vessels. 

Dr Gogia asserted that dental caries is a multi-functional disease, thus prevention too must be multipronged.  According to her, some good habits to be inculcated for sound oral health include reducing the sugar intake to thrice a day. She elaborated that one must consume sweets intelligently, by combining sweets in one exposure as frequency is more important than the quantity consumed.

Cavities are caused chiefly by the presence of bacteria in the mouth, which can be reduced by brushing your teeth twice a day. However, Dr Gogia said that brushing alone is not sufficient since it covers only three surfaces of the teeth, failing to cover the gaps in between. Thus, she recommended students to floss regularly. Flossing, she mentioned, also helps with the plaque.

Dr Gogia busted the myth that milk teeth do not need any treatment in cases of cavities. She explained to students that milk teeth in children have a very thin Dentin, thus the cavity reaches faster to the pulp, leading to infection and swelling in the roots, thereby causing pain to the child.

The speaker highlighted that bleeding from the gums while brushing is the first red flag of poor gum health.  Gross neglect of gums can eventually lead to Pyorrhea, a condition in which gums and bone under the gum recede drastically, making the tooth very loose, with heavy tartar deposits on all sides. Common causes of gum diseases include Diabetes, smoking, chewing tobacco and improper oral hygiene. Smokers with diabetes, especially type two diabetes, increase their risk of tooth loss by 20 times.

“Good periodontal health is a pre requisite for an overall sound health,” added Dr Gogia.  Poor Oral health can also lead to the risk of stroke, respiratory infections and even heart diseases.

Dr Gogia stated that in cases of irregular teeth or malocclusion in children, treatment can start even in the milk teeth stage. She told students that irregular teeth can lead to the habit of snoring, which is an indicator of lack of oxygen supply to the body during sleep.

According to Dr Gogia, dental treatment is not expensive but neglect is. She further clarified that due to immediate implant, having fixed teeth in old age is possible in contemporary times.

The students listened to Dr Gogia with rapt attention throughout the workshop. A student asked her about the embarrassment caused by wearing braces as teenagers to which she replied that there are invisible braces these days and even showed a picture of famous pop star Justin Bieber wearing the same, to remove notions of embarrassment. 

“Mouth is the mirror of your general health. It is the gateway for bacteria to enter your body. A clean mouth reflects a healthy body. Timely checkups eliminate the risk of having several diseases.  One must therefore visit a dentist every six months and kids must be taken for a checkup every three months.”

-Dr Amrita Gogia, head of department, Dental Science, Medanta Medicity

Arijit Roy is a trainee correspondent at Apeejay newsroom. He has done his masters in English literature from Delhi University and has a book of poems published by Writers Workshop India. He can be reached at [email protected]

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