National Smile Month 2017 – Promoting Good Oral Health
Every year, we join people throughout the UK to celebrate National Smile Month and help to promote the importance of oral health. This year, the campaign runs between the 15th of May and the 15th June and is celebrating its 41st year. Oral health is something that many people overlook, however, it’s important to remember that oral health contributes greatly towards our overall health.
Gum disease and the effects on general health
Failing to take proper care of our teeth and gums can lead to a number of problems that can have serious health consequences, for example, gum disease.
Failing to stick to a regular and thorough oral hygiene routine can lead to gum disease. What a large percentage of people don’t realise is that gum disease is closely linked with a number of health problems throughout the body.
Gum disease is linked with increased risk of serious health problems such as stroke and heart disease. Some research has even found that gum disease may be linked with certain problems in dementia and pregnancy. It’s believed that the gum inflammation linked with gum disease affects the bloodstream, slowly damaging blood vessels in the heart and brain over a long period of time.
Common risk factors for oral disease and other chronic illnesses
There are many common risk factors that oral diseases have in common with other illnesses around the body, such as obesity, heart disease, respiratory conditions and cancers:
- Diet – poor oral hygiene and poor diet are linked with heart disease, strokes, diabetes, obesity and cancers.
- Smoking – smoking and chewing tobacco is linked with oral cancers and other cancers, as well as heart disease, stokes, diabetes and respiratory problems, as well as periodontal disease – all illnesses linked with bad oral health.
- Alcohol – drinking too much alcohol is linked to a number of illnesses that are also common with poor oral health, including cancers and heart disease.
National Smile Month is here to help spread the word to more people on just how damaging poor oral care can be to maintaining good general health. By helping people to understand that failing to clean teeth and gums properly can lead to the same illnesses as a poor diet or smoking habits, hopefully more people will make good oral hygiene routines an essential part of self-care.
Maintaining good oral health is very simple when put into practice. By brushing our teeth at least twice daily with a fluoride toothpaste, flossing, eating a healthy balanced diet and avoiding too much sugar, we do a lot to prevent poor oral health. As orthodontists, we can also do a lot to help people with crooked, misaligned or crowded teeth to straighten their smile and make it easier to clean their teeth.
If your or your child find that cleaning your teeth thoroughly can be a challenge as a result of crooked teeth, please call Northenden House Orthodontics today on 0161 998 2622 to arrange a consultation.
- Mohammad Malik