Ufaq Fatima

Bad lifestyles, eating habits contribute to surging oral disorders in Kashmir

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Srinagar, Oct 27: Wrong lifestyle and bad eating habits are giving rise to many diseases in the Valley, and the most-prevalent ones are those related to mouth as oral hygiene remains the largely neglected area.

Hundreds of cases land in the hospitals and private dental clinics of Kashmir every month with some problems regarding teeth or tongue and throat.

Aatif is six-years-old but all his incisors, frontal teeth, including his molars are damaged.

“Kids nowadays are so much into consuming chocolates and other junk food that it is difficult to curb their eating habits. Every other day new junk items are added to the markets which lure kids and thereby compromise their oral health,” says Aatif’s mother.

According to doctors, bad food habits and neglected oral hygiene are the primary reasons for a marked increase in dental diseases among the masses in Kashmir.

“Here people take oral hygiene for granted. They do not understand the sensitive care mouth needs. Kids and youth consume a lot of junk food which contains oil and sugar in abundance, resulting in dental caries, calculus, gum inflammation, and bleeding,” said a dentist at Government Dental College, Srinagar, adding that absence of brushing teeth twice in 24 hours is also missing with majority of people here, thus worsening the problem.

Another dentist, Dr Zarmeen is of the opinion that people visit dentists only when the teeth are damaged to the maximum, rather than having regular oral check-ups every three months.

“Most of the patients here have to go through painful procedures to recover their teeth because they visit a dentist when most of the damage is already done.  Tooth decay is most problematic in adults because they have permanent teeth which cannot grow again,” she said.

Talking about the prevention of oral diseases among the kids, she said parents should cultivate habits in their children which involve proper oral hygiene and consumption of healthy foods.

Other patients who visit the dental hospital daily for various dental problems have smoking as the root cause of problems.

Talking to ‘Kashmir Images’, a dentist said, “Smoking is another common cause of tooth decay. Smoking causes less blood flow to oral tissues, thus decreasing the immunity of person to fight against the bacteria which result in staining, deposition of calculus and other damages to the teeth.”

“Bad oral hygiene not only affects teeth very badly but also delays the healing process of other oral problems besides causing other health complications,” the dentist added.

“Look you have to look at the mouth as a gateway to the body. If it is healthy, the body will remain so; any problems in the mouth would automatically mean problems with the entire body,” another dentist pointed out.

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