We’re talking about oral health this week, and a vital part of that is how oral health fits into general health. A patient isn’t healthy if they haven’t got oral health; general and oral health aren’t separate.
Oral health is a critical part of health, and it must be included in health care and the design of community health programs.
The wider meanings of oral and health in no way diminish the importance of the two leading dental diseases: Caries and periodontal disease.
They’re widespread, affecting nearly everyone at some point in a life span, but what’s changed is what we can do about them.
Application of science to improve strategies for diagnosis, treatment, and prevention has saved millions of pounds per year in the nation’s annual health bill. Even more significant;y, far fewer people are toothless today than a generation ago.
The importance of prevention gained momentum as pioneering investigators and practitioners in the 1950s and 1960s showed that not only dental caries but also periodontal diseases are bacterial infections.
Researchers demonstrated that infections could be prevented by increasing host resistance to disease and reducing or eliminating the suspected microbial pathogens in the oral cavity.
This research has resulted in continuing improvements in oral health, new approaches to the prevention and treatment of dental diseases, and the growth of the science.
The significant role that scientists, dentists, dental hygienists, and other health professionals have played in the prevention of oral disease and disability leads to a third theme of this discussion to which: safe and effective disease prevention measures exist which everyone can adopt to improve oral health and prevent disease.
These measures include daily oral hygiene procedures and other lifestyle behaviours, community programs such as community water fluoridation and tobacco cessation programs, and provider-based interventions such as the placement of dental sealants and examinations for common oral and pharyngeal cancers.
If you have anything to add to this dicussion, feel free to get in touch. Leave a comment here, or find me on social media:
Image courtesyof: JS Creationzs