Jinja: Andrew Waiswa, 50, is a resident of Budondo village, Jinja district. For about a year now, he has been battling with a dental disease whose pain no amount of local herbs usage has been able to soothe.
“I cannot eat properly because every time I try to put hot or cold food in my mouth, it goes straight to the cavity of the tooth, and this gives me a lot of discomfort. At times I would even stay up all night because the pain had become unbearable,” said Mr Andrew Waiswa.
Recently, he says, the pain got so bad to an extent that his one side of the cheek got swollen including his gum and that he felt like he was carrying something heavy inside his mouth.
“I could no longer brush, speak or eat properly. I then had to bring myself to the hospital to get my tooth extracted. I learnt my lessons and I would do whatever it takes to protect my remaining teeth,” he said.
Talking to Busoga Today, Doctor John Miles, a dentist at Munawona dental clinic, says that oral health problems come up as a result of poor hygiene, use of drugs like marijuana, miira, tobacco, excessive consumption of sugar and use of local herbs to treat cavities.
“Most oral health diseases can be highly prevented and treated in their early stages, but some people claim that dental services are expensive and that they cannot afford. These same categories of people go right ahead and use unauthorized herbs to self-treat themselves which is not right,” says Doctor John Miles.
He adds that it’s important for people to learn when to visit the dentist and not wait for the dental problem to get out of hand because things could only get worse.
“Signs of poor oral hygiene include changes in the colour of the teeth as they may become yellowish or get black stains, cavities, bad breath or odor, bleeding gums, canker sores, dryness of the mouth and thrush this mostly occurs in children and older adults who have weak immune systems,” says Doctor John Miles adding that Oral health problems can be curbed through visiting dental clinics or hospitals for schedule checkups and cleaning ones’ teeth, changing toothbrushes and toothpastes every three months, brush your teeth at least twice a day for two minutes each time as well as use a toothpaste that includes fluoride as this will help protect the teeth and floss more frequently specifically after meals.