World Oral Health Day is an annual event that’s celebrated worldwide on March 20th. This day is coordinated by the FDI World Dental Federation, a top organization representing over 1 million dentists across the globe, and has the goal of promoting awareness of how oral health impacts overall health. This day is an opportunity for people, including your dentist in Sparks, to promote oral health and educate people about the steps they can take to maintain good oral hygiene.
Why is This Day Needed?
Around 90% of the world’s population will develop some sort of dental disease at least once in their lifetime. Additionally, many of the oral health diseases that will affect most of the world’s population are preventable. This is one reason why a day dedicated to talking about oral health is important. By joining together and spreading knowledge and education on the importance of dental health, we can not only do more to protect oral health but overall health, too.
Healthy Mouth. Healthy Body.
Focusing on dental health is just as important as focusing on overall health. In fact, studies show that several diseases can be linked back to oral health problems. For example, research on patients with gum disease shows a probable link between it and heart disease, respiratory disease, some cancers, and diabetic issues.
Signs That There is an Oral Health Problem
Knowing the early warning signs of an oral health problem can make all the difference between a quick, easy fix and risking your overall health. Some of the top warning signs that there is an oral health problem include:
- Chronic bad breath
- Bleeding gums while brushing or flossing
- Loose teeth
- Pain in the jaw or mouth
- Mouth sores or lumps
If you recognize any of these signs, we encourage you to see your dentist in Sparks as soon as possible.
Best Ways to Take Care of Your Teeth
Taking care of your teeth and overall oral health is the best way to prevent problems such as gum disease, cavities, and oral cancer. Make sure you:
- Brush your teeth twice a day
- Floss daily
- Avoid tobacco
- See your dentist in Sparks twice a year
There’s never been a better time to commit to caring for your smile, and your body, than World Oral Health Day. Head over to WorldOralHealthDay.org to find resources about how you can take action for yourself and your community.
According to the CDC, nearly 50% of adults over the age of 30 have some form of gum disease, and your dentist in Sparks wants you to know that this is nothing to take lightly. Gum disease is a serious condition that has been connected to an increased risk of developing both oral and overall health problems such as tooth loss, heart disease, and stroke. But there’s even more. A new study conducted by the American Academy for Cancer Research shows a potential link between gum disease and gastrointestinal cancers, including colon cancer.
The Link Between Gum Disease and GI Cancer
The survey from the American Academy for Cancer Research followed over 40,000 men and women for more than a decade, monitoring their health, diets, and results of their colonoscopies. Researchers focused on two types of intestinal lesions that are often precursors to developing colon cancer – serrated polyps and conventional adenomas – as well as patients’ oral health. While it may seem odd to study gut health in relation to oral health, the results were interesting.
- Patients studied were 17% more likely to have a serrated polyp if there was also a history of gum disease.
- Researchers saw an 11% increased risk of having a conventional adenoma if a history of gum disease was also present.
- Participants who lost more than four teeth, a common side effect of gum disease, had a 20% increased risk of having a serrated polyp.
While these survey results certainly seem to point to a correlation between gum disease and colon cancer, researchers say that more studies are needed.
How Can You Tell If You Have Gum Disease?
Gum disease can be treated and cured if it’s detected in its early stages. This is why it’s so important to see your dentist in Sparks twice a year for regular checkups. Early detection is key to treating gum disease effectively before it has a chance to cause bigger oral health or overall health problems. Some tell-tale signs of gum disease may include:
- Bad breath or bad taste that doesn’t go away
- Red or swollen gums
- Tender or bleeding gums
- Painful chewing
- Loose teeth
- Sensitive teeth
- Gum recession
Preventing Gum Disease
There are several ways to protect yourself from developing gum disease, including:
- Brushing your teeth twice a day
- Flossing daily
- Quitting smoking
- Seeing your dentist in Sparks at least every six months
However, it’s important to know that genetics, age, and certain medications can also impact the risk of developing gum disease. Make sure to mention all health conditions and medications to your dentist at every appointment.