Oral Health

Date:

World Oral Health Day is observed annually on March 20th. This year it was observed under the theme; “a happy mouth Is a happy body”.

Oral health refers to the health of your teeth, gums, face and all the structures that allow you to speak, chew and smile. It is a huge component of one’s general health as it may be linked with other organs systems and as well plays an important role in self-confidence of individuals.

Oral diseases are a huge spectrum of conditions that includes dental caries, gum disease, loss of teeth, trauma, cancer of the oral cavity and some birth defects which can result in abnormal formation of the lips and palate. These are among the most common non communicable diseases worldwide and they are on the rise. They are particularly common in low- and middle-income countries and these are more likely to be on the rise.

The risk factors for developing oral diseases include; tobacco smoking, tobacco chewing, alcohol consumption and diets that are high is sugar. It is worth nothing that most oral diseases share risk factors with other non-communicable diseases like diabetes, heart disease and cancer. There is a proven link between poor oral health and deterioration in general health.

Some of the practices that one can do to have good oral health include the following. It is important to brush teeth twice a day with a toothpaste that is rich in fluoride. Fluoride helps with the development of strong healthy teeth. In addition to brushing, one’s teeth it is also important to floss to be able to access difficult to reach places. Drink water that is rich in fluoride also helps in maintaining health teeth.

It is also important to avoid practices that are associated with poor oral hygiene. One must stop smoking, chewing tobacco, decrease alcohol and sugar consumption. People with diabetes must strive to make sure that their diabetes is well controlled, hence reducing any complications that may be related to infections.

Some medications may result in complications that lead to deterioration in oral health. It is important to consult with your doctor if there are any complications such as dry mouth. If this persists and medications cannot be changed it is important to drink adequate amounts of water or chew sugarless gum to keep the mouth wet.

Annual checkups with the dentists are also imperative to maintaining good oral hygiene. The dentist would identify any problems early and manage them appropriately.

It is important that we do not neglect our oral health as is it directly linked to our general well-being. Simple measures go a long way in ensuring good oral health.

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