A healthy mouth is crucial for maintaining overall health and quality of life
With 90 percent of the world’s population suffering from oral diseases during their lifetime, World Oral Health Day (WOHD), on March 20, was celebrated in Virginia and across the world to promote the benefits of a healthy mouth and the importance of oral hygiene. Organized by FDI World Dental Federation, it’s the largest global awareness campaign on oral health.
Oral health is much more than a nice smile. Oral disease can impact every aspect of life, from personal relationships and self-confidence, to school, work or even enjoying food. Good oral hygiene habits start at an early age. Parents should supervise their children’s oral health habits and encourage routine care for teeth and gums for a healthy lifestyle.
Oral health and general health have a close two-way relationship. The mouth is the mirror to the body and offers clues about the status of overall health. It can reveal nutritional deficiencies; signs of systemic diseases like bacterial infections, immune disorders and oral cancer; and unhealthy habits such as tobacco or alcohol use.
In addition, many general health conditions increase the risk of oral diseases, and problems in the mouth can also negatively impact the rest of the body. For example, diabetes and HIV/AIDS can lower the body’s resistance to infection and make problems in the mouth more severe. Patients with diabetes have an increased risk of periodontal (gum) disease. Gum disease may also be associated with cardiovascular (heart) disease, respiratory disease and pancreatic cancers.
“Oral diseases affect 3.9 billion people worldwide, with untreated tooth decay impacting almost half of the world’s population,” said Chris Pyle, vice-president of marketing and government relations for Delta Dental of Virginia. “We’re helping spread the word about World Oral Health Day to help safeguard oral health and promote a good quality of life into old age.”
Prevention, early detection and treatment are the keys to reducing oral health issues and any associated overall health complications. For more information about World Oral Health Day, visit http://www.worldoralhealthday.org.
-Submitted by Stefanie Brown, Strategic Communications Account Executive