We have been witnessing life-threatening diseases hitting people’s life because of the poor oral health system in the country. Covid19 has been the biggest experience which proved that we need a lot to understand how important, the human tool- like our mouth and nostrils are. Our oral health defines our entire body ecosystem as it is interlinked and we must give proper attention to maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Recently, we came across MyDentalPlan, India’s leading IT-enabled healthcare company, which was established in 2015 to offer standardized, top-notch dental care at uniform rates. The platform holds India’s largest dental network and has enrolled 3500+ verified dentists in 1000+ audited clinics to offer the best dental care. The company has spread its wings in more than 150 cities across the nation and plans to expand it even further. The company has been growing the clocking speed of 2X year on year.
True Speak team got a chance to interact with the founder of MyDentalPlan Healthcare Pvt. Ltd.– Dr Mohendar Narula, to know some valuable insights on the oral health and wellness ecosystem in India.
How did you come up with the idea for founding MyDentalPlan?
Dr Narula: I use to own a dental plan in the USA, California, for more than 11 years. But whenever I use to visit India, I use to feel sad witnessing the unorganized dentistry being practised in the country with no standardized hygiene, no standardized sterilization methods in clinics and a lack of dentistry across the nation.
This led me to think of doing something which could be a good opportunity, as there was nothing from the dentistry point in India. That is how a couple of my friends- Dr Anand and Dr Girish sat together and thought of starting this kind of initiative. We spoke to some of the service providers and everybody liked our ideas, and that’s how we actually got started.
How has been the market response so far?
Dr Narula: We have been in India since 2015 and the journey has been quite good. Although, we made some mistakes, during the building phase of our business- related to the costing and some new ideas which we thought could have been good opportunities. Hence, in the beginning, it was not that easy, so we reworked the costings and post that, a number of good healthcare companies like Medicis Healthcare, Religare, etc., came in contact with us, and then things started developing at a much faster pace. Also, as Mr Harminder has taken over the business charge, we are absolutely in a much better place.
COVID19 has been impacting the health of people across the world. Also, the oral health sector is the most neglected sector of India? What measures will you suggest to be taken for healthy oral health, to save people from the deadly virus or any bacteria present around?
Dr Narula: There are only 2 entries for the virus — one is the nasal cavity and the other is the oral cavity. So, through the mouth, the virus directly enters the throat and joins the nasal cavity path towards the lungs.
Also, if a person has infected gums and if they are inflamed, then the blood vessels are open to viruses, and many other bacteria which are present in the mouth. That’s the bad part about the inflamed gums, which can harbour viruses and they can actually put them into the bloodstream.
Though it could be treated in a very easy and simple step by:
- keeping the gums clean,
- brushing twice a day,
- rinsing your mouth with hot water salt,
- massaging your gums
- Keeping your tongue clean with a tongue cleaner, as there a layer deposited on the tongue which can harbor many bacteria, viruses and other micro-organism
Getting infections and having infected gums are so common in India that more than 80% of the population suffers from some kind of gum disease. We have taken a decision to aware people of the dental problems, and how easily the infections can enter the body through the mouth, and affect the human body in various ways, like- Endocarditis, which is alife-threatening inflammation of the inner lining of your heart’s chambers and valves; oral issues can further affect in premature deliveries, people can also be infected through the mouth to the replaced joints and diabetes becoming a much bigger concern when gum infection is present.
That’s how important the gum infection is and how little it has been taken care of in India.
Talking about the northern part of the country, people are habituated to having either pan-masala or chewing/smoking tobacco, etc. What measures do you suggest to manage their oral health?
Dr Narula: The most important thing which we recommend is that one should visit a dentist atleast twice a year, to get a complete dental checkup and dental cleaning. So, if there is any problem that is going out of control, then it will be caught in the initial levels and medically taken good measures to cure. And the majority of the time, when you get the cleaning done, all that stains, any deterioration in the gums starts to improve also. As long as you are not letting any deposits be there, on the teeth, which are going to cause the gum receding, we can control many things at a much better place.
And if they start seeing and going to the dentist, twice a year atleast, dentists are going to guide them on how to quit the habits and make them aware of their impact and side-effects – how can cancer develop from chewing/smoking tobacco or how will it impact the health for a longer run. So the consultation can bring awareness to people and can improve the entire health with a minute step.
What measures do you suggest for patients who are suffering from Diabetes- measures and habits?
Dr Narula: For diabetes, there are two ways it is connected to our dental health- Initially because of diabetes, you start seeing the imbalance in the synthesis of collagen tissue, which binds the other tissues- whether it’s the gums or the skin. So what happens is synthesis gets impaired because of diabetes and you start getting gum inflammation and gum diseases in diabetic patients in a much more easy way, than a normal person. And that is how it starts leading from gums receding and bad breath.
Because the infection is in the mouth diabetes sugar level goes even higher and because of this, the need for insulin becomes much higher. So it’s a double-sided relation between oral cavity and diabetes.
It is very important for diabetic patients to get the:
- Scaling done
- Gum curettage done
- Atleast twice a year they need to get their cleaning done
- After every food they ingest, they need to wash their mouth properly, so that no food debris is there, which might create more acidic environment in the mouth.
All those precautions, one has to take it much more seriously.
The Covid-19 pandemic had a devastating impact on the academic calendar. The exams like NE…