The Importance of Oral Health

Oral Health is key to general health and quality of life. Good oral health means that we are pain-free and fully able to allow the mouth to do its daily actions: biting, chewing, smiling, speaking, and making an overall state of happiness. The World Health Organization (WHO) says that oral health disease is the most common disease in the whole world. It is also the most preventable disease.

There are many common problems: dental cavities, gum disease, tooth loss, oral cancer, and oral infections. All of these can be avoided simply by taking care of your teeth and gums. Dental cavities can lead to pain, speaking problems, eating problems, lowered self-confidence, and problems staying on track in school or at work. Gum disease can lead to infections and finally, tooth loss. The World Health Organization states that 30% of people aged 65-74 have no natural teeth. Oral cancer is also a growing concern with the rise in use of smoking and chewing tobacco. Tobacco has been proven to cause cancer in many ways. The smoke from tobacco is known to cause lung cancer, while tobacco chew is known to cause gum and mouth cancer.

Did you know that oral health is linked very closely with general health? Many people don’t realize that the four major diseases, heart disease, cancer, respiratory disease, and diabetes, are all connected with oral health. So, what can we do to fight this growing health concern? We can find ways to stop oral disease in the first place. Fluoride is important for keeping teeth strong and healthy. Fluoride can be found in toothpaste and is also given when visiting the dentist. Seeing a dentist often to stop problems from starting is a good way to keep oral health problems away. Educating children in schools about cavities and gum disease is also very good for oral health.

For more information about Oral Health call Four Corners Health Department at (402) 362-2621 or toll free 877-337-3573. Or send an email to info@fourcorners.ne.gov. Visit our website at www.fourcorners.ne.gov.