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Oral Health

Oral Health

 

Maintaining your oral health is important to prevent the occurrence of diseases in the mouth. Having good oral health has been shown to give people a sense of wellbeing and allows them to participate in daily activities without embarrassment.

 

Saying this, many Australians are not looking after their oral health with 30% of adults having untreated tooth decay.      

 

Poor oral health can result in:  

Halitosis (bad breath) may result from sulphur-producing bacteria which live under the tongue,  

Tooth decay resulting in cavities, pain and/or tooth loss,

Gingivitis, also known as gum disease, which if left untreated can develop into periodontitis (an infection of the teeth and gums),

Periodontitis during pregnancy has been linked to having a low birth weight baby,  

Inflammation and infection caused by oral bacteria may increase the risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes.      

 

Management  

Things you can do to maintain your oral health include:  

 

Eat healthily - The foods you eat and drink can contribute to the amount of dental plaque that accumulates on the teeth. Avoid eating foods high in sugar that can stick to the tooth and cause plaque build up, and ensure an adequate intake of calcium.  

Brush your teeth regularly - Brushing your teeth twice a day removes the plaque that builds up and can prevent most dental problems. You should be brushing your teeth for 2-3 minutes and use toothpaste that contains fluoride.  

Flossing - Flossing helps to get into the tiny gaps of your teeth that your toothbrush can’t reach. Flossing effectively removes the bacteria and food particles from between your teeth. You should floss daily.  

Chew sugar-free gum - If you are unable to brush your teeth one hour after eating chew sugar-free gum instead. This stimulates the production of saliva that helps to remove food particles and neutralize the acid in your mouth.  

Visit your dentist regularly - Visiting your dentist for a regular checkup will assist in an early diagnosis of any dental problems that are developing. A professional clean also helps to keep your teeth and gums healthy and maintain your oral health.      

 

Disclaimer  

The content displayed on this webpage is intended for informational purposes and is a guide only. It does not replace or substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.   Information contained on this webpage must be discussed with an appropriate healthcare professional before making any decisions or taking any action based on the content of this webpage.      

 

Sources  

Australian Dental Association http://www.ada.org.au/oralhealth/  

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare http://www.aihw.gov.au/dental-and-oral-health/  

Dental Health Week http://www.dentalhealthweek.com.au  

Mayo Clinic http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/adult-health/in-depth/dental/art-20047475?pg=2

 

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