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Oral health touches every aspect of our lives but is often taken for granted. The mouth is a window into the health of the body. It can show signs of nutritional deficiencies or general infection. Systemic diseases, those that affect the entire body, may first become apparent because of mouth lesions or other oral problems.
Oral health, by WHO, is defined as a state of being free from chronic mouth and facial pain, oral and throat cancer, oral infection and sores, periodontal (gum) disease, tooth decay (hole in the tooth), tooth loss and other diseases and disorders that limit an individual’s capacity in biting, chewing, smiling, speaking and psychosocial wellbeing.
Oral health is a key indicator of overall health, wellbeing and quality of life, that is, it forms an integral part of general health of an individual.
Oral diseases are the most common non-communicable diseases and affect people (of all age groups) throughout their life time, causing pain, discomfort, disfigurement and even death.
The Global Burden of Disease Study 2016 estimated that oral diseases affect half of the world’s population (3.58billion) with dental caries in permanent teeth being most prevalent condition assessed.
Dental treatment is costly, poor dental health care awareness, inadequate dentists, the oral health care demands in most low and middle-income countries exceed the health care system of those countries among other reasons make up the reasons people don’t get good dental services.
Poor oral hygiene and inadequate exposure to fluoride have negative effects on oral health.
The home practice of good oral hygiene starts by always brushing your teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste and a medium-textured toothbrush, cleaning between your teeth once a day with floss or another interdental cleaner, replacing your toothbrush every three or four months and by eating a balanced diet and limiting between-meal snacks.
These and many more will be our focus in this segment. You can also be part of it by sending me questions bothering you about your oral health. Your question and my answer will be published but I’ll not disclose your identity.
So, keep the questions coming and don’t forget to schedule regular dental check-ups to keep your smile, and yourself, healthy.
Welcome to my world.
Also visit www.nigeriahealthonline.com for more Oral Health stories.