World Oral Health Day

Live Mouth Smart

Monday 20 March 2017 is World Oral Health Day. Along with other health professionals around the world, we are encouraging everyone to understand the importance of good oral health and how it impacts on general health and wellbeing.

Good oral health is more than just a great smile

It is about looking after your teeth and gums so that you can have a good quality of life as you get older. Having good oral health is also about ensuring you can fully perform essential functions, such as talking, chewing, swallowing, and smiling without pain or discomfort.

Your overall health and wellbeing is inextricably linked to good oral health. If you have a healthy mouth, which is free of pain or discomfort, you’re more likely to feel happier and more confident.

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Why is your oral health so important?

Gum disease is one of the most common diseases in the world and research has shown it has links to many other serious health conditions such as diabetes, kidney disease, heart disease and stroke.

Around 7,500 cases of mouth cancer were diagnosed in the UK in 2015 and this is predicted to rise over the next few years. Early detection is crucial to survival rates and so regular visits to your dentist (who will often perform a mouth cancer check as part of your appointment) as well as reducing – or cutting out completely – alcohol, tobacco and unhealthy foods, will greatly minimise your risk of developing the disease.

What are the risks to good oral health?

Unsurprisingly, smoking and drinking alcohol to excess, and an unhealthy diet that has a high sugar content, are all factors which can greatly harm your oral health. By reducing (or better still, quitting completely) your intake or consumption of these things will not only improve the health of your teeth and gums, but will also significantly reduce your chances of developing serious health conditions and diseases.

How easy is it to look after your oral health?

Regular dental consultations are essential in maintaining a good standard of oral health. Your dentist (or hygienist) can advise you on cleaning techniques and give you personal advice on how to look after your teeth and gums. You only get one set of adult teeth, so it’s important to care for them to keep them for longer.

Your oral hygiene routine at home will really make a difference in reducing the daily damage that can be done to your mouth. Taking just a few minutes every day to brush and clean between your teeth will prevent the build-up of plaque and the risk of gum disease.

For more advice about looking after your oral health, talk to your dentist. You can also find useful information on our My Teeth blog.