Dr. Mehmood Ashgar, B.D.S
What is your philosophy on how oral health relates to overall body health?
I believe that how you maintain your oral health directly effects your overall body health. Since the oral cavity is considered as the gateway to the digestive system, and the food you eat passes through the mouth first before being digested in the stomach and intestines, not maintaining a good oral hygiene means that there are high chances that bacteria and other pathogens present in the oral cavity may travel down deeper into the digestive system and cause various infections. Several dental conditions such as gingivitis and periodontitis have been linked with medical conditions such as heart conditions, respiratory ailments and arthritis. In addition, your general health can affect your oral health just like your dental health can affect your general well-being. Hence, in my opinion, it is important to keep a healthy mouth by brushing and flossing, at least twice a day.
What dental technologies do you use at your office?
The following facilities are available at the dental hospital I work:
- Digital X-ray machine (portable and fixed)
- CAD/CAM machine for in-office fabrication of indirect restorations and fixed prostheses
- Orthopentomamograph (OPG)
- Cephalogram for orthodontic patients
- Intra-oral camera
- Apex locator
- Digital pulp tester
- Ultrasonic Scaling equipment
- High and low speed dental headpieces
What manual toothbrush and toothpaste you recommend?
In my opinion, any toothbrush having soft bristles that is certified by the American Dental Association (ADA) can be safely used for brushing your teeth. Toothbrushes that have very hard bristles can damage your gums and erode your teeth. Also, chose an appropriate size of the toothbrush so that it can reach the farthest teeth or the oral cavity. You should also be careful to buy a new one as soon as you observe the bristles have gone hard. It is advisable to consult your dentist before choosing a brush.
What brand and model of electric toothbrush you recommend?
Many brands of electric toothbrushes are available in the market. I don’t recommend any specific brand, rather you should choose the best toothbrush after considering your personal preferences, such as powered or battery operated systems, and budget constraints. Any electric toothbrush can be used provided the manufacturer’s instructions are properly followed.
How to properly brush your teeth?
Following steps should be followed for proper brushing:
- Place a small amount (pea sized) of a toothpaste on your brush
- Keep your brush at 45 degrees relative to your teeth, and brush them by providing short to and fro strokes
first clean the outer surfaces of your upper and lower teeth, followed by the inner surfaces such that all the teeth have been cleaned
- Brush your tongue gently in order to remove the germs from there too
- Make sure that you brush your teeth for at least two minutes
It must, however be remembered that brushing your teeth should also be supplemented with flossing and judicious use of a mouthwash, in order to maintain an impeccable oral hygiene.
What are the common causes of Dental Problems?
In my opinion, the root cause of virtually all dental problems is negligence regarding oral hygiene maintenance. Other causes include malnutrition, reduction in body’s immunity and hereditary predisposition.
How often should I visit my Dentist?
Visiting your dentist regularly not only helps you in keeping a fresh breath and a healthy smile, but also to diagnose and treat any developing or underlying dental condition. For most patients, visiting a dentist twice a year is sufficient. However, for patients at high risk of developing dental problems such as diabetic patients, smokers, and immunocompromised individuals, it is recommended that they see a dentist three or four times a year.
What are the food or drinks to avoid to prevent cavity?
Eating healthy foods is not only important for having a good health, but it also required to prevent the development of dental cavities. Foods containing refined carbohydrates such as bakery products, candies and caramels must be avoided. Also, acidic drinks can the dissolution of tooth enamel, leading to tooth sensitivity and caries. However, it must be mentioned here that it is not the amount of daily sugar intake that is crucial for caries development, but frequency of ingestion of carbohydrates. Hence, enjoying a candy or two once a day might not be as damaging as taking them twice or thrice a day.