A great number of people are convinced that oral health only pertains to the mouth and teeth, but there is so much more to it. What we eat and how we care for our mouth is a major key to our overall well-being. This is why every year on March 20th, the FDI World Dental Federation continues to celebrate World Oral Health Day. They strongly believe in the importance of empowering people to seek knowledge, along with the tools that are needed to spread more awareness and reduce oral diseases that affect the lives of many individuals across the world.
How Does Oral Health Affect Our Overall Health?
Well, since the mouth is the entrance to our respiratory and digestive tracts, this means that some bad bacteria can get into our system and cause chronic diseases and conditions such as cardiovascular disease, pneumonia, birth complications, certain cancers, and others. Given the lasting effects of bad oral hygiene, it is important to have a balanced diet and healthy oral hygiene.
Studies have shown that we can take prebiotics and probiotics, which are known to support the gut, maintain healthy microorganisms, and help with digestion. Scholars also continue to recommend flossing and periodontal therapy because it has long-term benefits.
The FDI World Dental Federation has provided free action toolkits for schools, youth groups, workplaces, and healthcare professionals to promote and inspire individuals to maintain good oral health. If you would like to access these resources you can go to https://www.worldoralhealthday.org/resources and find more information about what you can do to participate in this national event. I encourage you all to stay informed and take proper care of your mouth because as I mentioned before, it can have lasting effects!
Olsen, Ingar, and Kazuhisa Yamazaki. “Can oral bacteria affect the microbiome of the gut?.” Journal of oral microbiology vol. 11,1 1586422. 18 Mar. 2019, doi:10.1080/20002297.2019.1586422
“Oral Health: A Window to Your Overall Health.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 28 Oct. 2021, https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/in-depth/dental/art-20047475.
Klemm, Sarah. “Prebiotics and Probiotics Creating a Healthier You.” EatRight, https://www.eatright.org/food/vitamins-and-supplements/nutrient-rich-foods/prebiotics-and-probiotics-creating-a-healthier-you.