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Good oral health; an investment in your overall wellbeing

JOHANNESBURG – Dental hygiene is about so much more than pearly white teeth and fresh breath.

Many people don’t realize the extent to which their oral health is linked to their overall physical health.

According to the South African Dental Association (Sada), poor dental health increases the risk of bacteria entering the bloodstream, which can cause an infection and affect certain areas of the heart.

Gum disease (periodontitis) which affects an estimated 10% of the global population, is associated with an increased risk of developing heart diseases. In fact, poor oral health can contribute to endocarditis, an infection of the inner lining of the heart chambers or valves as well as cardiovascular disease.

Gum disease in pregnant women has also been linked to premature birth and low birth weight. Certain bacteria in your mouth can also be drawn into your lungs, causing pneumonia and other respiratory diseases. The bottom line is that your oral health is more important than many of us realize.

This World Oral Health Day (WOHD) on March 20, Sada wants to re-iterate the importance of good oral health.

Be proud of your mouth is the theme this WOHD. The day is celebrated annually to spread educational messages about good oral hygiene practices and how to prevent and control oral disease.

WOHD champions the prevention and early detection of oral health issues and aims to raise the profile of oral health on a global scale. Educating people about the link between oral health and systemic health has also become a priority.

Poor oral health can negatively affect a person’s self-image and emotional well-being. This includes feeling embarrassed about their teeth and mouth which can lead to missing school or work and result in social withdrawal and isolation.

Over 90% of the world’s population will suffer from some form of dental disease in their lifetime. The good news is that most oral health conditions are preventable and can be treated to avoid further progression. This includes brushing your teeth at least twice a day, flossing daily and scheduling regular dental check-ups and cleanings. Eating a well-balanced diet and avoiding tobacco use can also aid in good dental hygiene.

Details: For more information or to find a dentist in your area, go to https://www.sada.co.za/


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