Say Ahh! This World Oral Health Day
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Say Ahh! This World Oral Health Day

The World Oral Health Day campaign aims to educate people that keeping a healthy mouth is crucial for maintaining overall health and quality of life. It highlights associations between certain oral diseases and noncommunicable diseases (such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease and some cancers), raises awareness of common risk factors, and promotes good oral hygiene habits.

The most common oral diseases are dental cavities, periodontal (gum) disease, oral cancer, oral infectious diseases, trauma from injuries, and hereditary lesions. Dental health is an indicator of overall health. Ignorance is a cause for the wide prevalence of practices that are detrimental to oral health in India.

  • Only 47% of total treatments received are by dentists according to a survey by the Indian Market Research Bureau (IMRB). More than 50% having dental problems prefer to take advice from chemists and general practitioners, or use home remedies.
  • Only 28% brushed their teeth twice a day. Nearly 34% believed that brushing once a day was more than enough (IMRB).
  • 65% of people had no clue that eating habits could cause dental problems (IMRB).
  • Oral diseases and other chronic diseases can be decreased simultaneously by addressing common risk factors. These include:

Oral Hygiene

Ensuring proper oral hygiene helps to retain teeth. Adults over 35 years are prone to gum diseases, like periodontal disease. This can be prevented by daily tooth brushing and flossing. This removes plaque (a colorless film, which sticks to your teeth at the gum line). Plaque constantly forms on your teeth. By daily cleaning you can prevent periodontal disease.

Dental cavities can be prevented by maintaining a constant low level of fluoride in the oral cavity. Fluoride can be obtained from fluoridated toothpaste, as well as from professionally-applied fluoride or mouth rinse. Long- term exposure results in fewer dental cavities in both children and adults.


This plays a large role in your dental health. Having a balanced diet helps to boost your body’s immune system, leaving you less vulnerable to oral disease. Decreasing sugar intake and maintaining a well-balanced nutritional intake to prevent tooth decay and premature tooth loss.

  • How often and what you eat have been found to affect your dental health.
  • Eating starchy foods such as crackers, bread, cookies and candy causes the bacteria in your mouth feed on it, they then produce acids, which attack your teeth for up to 20 minutes or more.
  • Foods that stick to your teeth or are slow to dissolve give the acids more time to work on destroying your tooth enamel.
  • Sticky and starchy foods create less acid when eaten as part of a meal. Saliva production increases at mealtime, rinsing away food particles and neutralizing harmful acids.
  • Foods such as nuts, cheese, onions, and some teas have been shown to slow growth of decay- causing bacteria in the mouth.
  • Consume fruit and vegetables that can protect against oral cancer.
  • Stop tobacco use and decreasing alcohol consumption to reduce the risk of oral cancers, periodontal disease and tooth loss.

Plaque as cause of common conditions?

Long-term gum infection can eventually result in the loss of your teeth. But the consequences may not end there. Recent research suggests that there may be an association between oral infections — primarily gum infections — and poorly controlled diabetes, cardiovascular disease and preterm birth. More research is needed to determine whether oral infections actually cause these conditions, which include:

  • Poorly controlled diabetes. If you have diabetes, you're already at increased risk of developing gum disease. But chronic gum disease may, in fact, make diabetes more difficult to control, as well. Infection may cause insulin resistance, which disrupts blood sugar control.
  • Cardiovascular disease. Oral inflammation due to bacteria (gingivitis) may also play a role in clogged arteries and blood clots. The more severe the infection, the greater the risk appears to be. And gum disease and tooth loss may contribute to plaques in the carotid artery.

Protect your mouth and body by:

  • Eating a healthy diet low in sugar, high in fruits and vegetables
  • Avoiding tobacco use and excessive alcohol consumption
  • Adopting good oral hygiene habits such as brushing your teeth for two minutes, twice a day
  • Rinse with a fluoride mouthwash or chew sugar-free gum after meals and snacks when brushing isn't possible
  • Clean between your teeth using floss or other interdental cleaners for additional benefits
  • Wearing a mouthguard when engaging in contact sports
  • Having regular dental check-ups

Your mouth is a mirror to your body and reflects your general health and well-being. Avoid risk factors, adopt good oral hygiene habits and have regular dental check-ups to help protect your mouth and body.


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