5 Common Oral Diseases in Nigeria

Common Oral Diseases in Nigeria

Your oral health is just as important as anything else. Many people pay great attention to other parts of their bodies while paying very little care to their mouths. It is recommended that you brush your mouth twice a day; in the morning and night.

In Nigeria, however, many people just brush once, in the morning, and that is all for the day. Still, this set of people are better than those who go two to three days without brushing their mouth. But good oral health requires more than just brushing twice a day. You have to observe other practices like flossing and visiting your dentist for regular checkups.

When you do not take your oral health seriously, you risk developing oral diseases. Oral diseases may affect the gum, teeth, tongue, or any other part of the mouth.

Although you may not realise it, oral diseases are more prevalent than you think and that is our focus in today’s article. So, read on to discover some of the common oral diseases here in Nigeria.   

1. Tooth decay

Tooth decay or cavities is a very prevalent oral disease. There are approximately over 1.5 million cases of tooth decay in Nigeria every year.

Small children are more likely to have tooth decay because of how much they consume sugary things, but that does not mean it does not affect adults as well. Tooth decay is caused when plaque, the sticky stuff that forms on teeth, binds with the sugar from the things you eat.

This results in an acid that destroys the enamel, which is the outer part of the tooth. This results in cavities that cause the tooth to gradually decay, resulting in intense pain and discomfort. 

Most times, one would have to go to the dentist to have the tooth pulled out completely. 

2. Periodontal disease

This is a disease that affects the gum, and it is simply known as gum disease most times. it is an infection of the gum surrounding the teeth.

Some of the symptoms include red, swollen, and painful gums, bad breath, bleeding gums, and so on. It is usually caused by inflammation, which occurs when the gums are not properly cared for. Having conditions like diabetes or heart disease increase your chances of having gum disease. 

You should visit your dentist as soon as you suspect any problems with your gum. 

3. Oral cancer

Many people may not think about it but oral cancer is a thing. It affects areas in the mouth including the gum, tongue, and even the tonsils.

Some of the common symptoms include painful swallowing, chronic mouth pain, a lump in your mouth, a sore on your lip that would not heal, and so on.

The risk of contracting oral cancer is increased by tobacco and alcohol use. It can be deadly, but it is also treatable, especially when it is diagnosed early. 

It was reported that in Nigeria, oral cancer accounts for 36.8% of head and neck malignancies, with 1146 new cases and 764 mortality cases annually.

4. Halitosis 

Halitosis or bad breath is also an oral disease. It is one of the most common oral diseases in Nigeria. In fact, a hospital-based study in Nigeria conducted on self-reported halitosis revealed a prevalence of 14.8% and 17.1%.

While brushing your teeth and tongue would help to keep your mouth clean and eliminate bad breath, halitosis is a persistent problem.

It is usually a sign of gum disease, cavities, bacteria on the tongue, and so forth. 

If you notice that you have persistent mouth odour, despite your steady wash routine, then you should visit your dentist. 

Common Oral Diseases in Nigeria

5. Gingivitis 

Gingivitis is a mild but prevalent form of gum disease that results in inflammation, redness, and swelling of the gingiva around the base of the teeth.

It is crucial to address gingivitis promptly, as it can progress into the more severe periodontitis and ultimately cause tooth loss.

Poor oral hygiene is undoubtedly the leading cause of gingivitis. However, maintaining good oral health habits such as brushing at least twice a day, flossing daily, and scheduling regular dental checkups can effectively prevent and even reverse gingivitis.

A study was done that aimed to identify the risk factors associated with gingivitis in school-age children in Nigeria. The study found that poor oral hygiene, low socioeconomic status, and consumption of sugary foods and drinks were significant risk factors for gingivitis.

The prevalence of dental caries was low while the prevalence of gingivitis was high in Nigeria, especially among children.

Oral Health Tip

Visiting your dentist regularly, at least twice a year, would help prevent any of these oral diseases in Nigeria. It would also allow early detection of these diseases so that they can be treated on time. 



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