How important is Oral health?

Image for representational purpose only.
Image for representational purpose only.Source: Flickr

Maintaining good oral hygiene is crucial for leading a healthy lifestyle. Even, World Health Organization’s newly issued Global Oral Health Status Report, which includes data profiles for 194 nations, including the United States reveals that it is concerning that oral health is not improving globally and that urgent action is needed.

The WHO continues to prioritise oral health, and this report examines the most recent information on the main oral diseases, risk factors, health system challenges, and opportunities for reform. It is meant to be a reference for policymakers and a wide range of stakeholders to help them prioritise oral health at the international, regional, and national levels.

In Jammu and Kashmir, oral hygiene is often being neglected and due to carelessness, people are suffering from different diseases.  Govt. Dental College/Hospital, Srinagar receives at least 700 dental cases in the Out Patient Department (OPD) every day. Out of 700, they admit two to three patients who are suffering from a severe infection. Every week, over five to six surgeries are being performed at the hospital.

According to the Kashmir based doctors, tobacco chewing, smoking affects the oral health. Oral diseases like gum diseases affect people. So, prioritizing oral health is important and the need of the hour. Oral hygiene leads to a healthy lifestyle.

They said that there are oral concerns and common misconceptions regarding oral hygiene in Kashmir.People should stop self-medicating for tooth infections. Around 90 percent of the people in Kashmir believe that consuming painkillers will solve their problems. But this is not true. So, it is better to opt for proper oral hygiene and early treatment.

Doctors have suggested people to go for a dental checkup every six months. People here prefer to visit a dentist only during an emergency. Early treatment is very important. Whether a person is in pain or not. It is important to visit a dentist after every six months. If a dental ailment is in the initial stage. It can be detected early to cause minimum damage,” they said.

Poral hygiene leads to Periodontitis (a gum infection that damages gums and can destroy the jawbone). It can lead to tooth loss. So, people should be careful. They should go for an early treatment and maintain good oral hygiene to prevent damage to the surrounding bone. Parents of children aged between 6 to 13 years should get them checked.

Doctors advised people to practice good oral hygiene and adopt some good habits.

1.People should brush their teeth in the morning and before sleeping.

2. They should visit a dentist after every six months. Early treatment is important to prevent teeth from any damage.

3. People should not use any tobacco products like tobacco chewing and other drugs. Even if people smoke, they should quit it.

4. People having diabetes should control the disease. Diabetic people should treat gum diseases. Early treatment would help them to lower their blood sugar level.

5.People have some confusion regarding scaling (cleaning of teeth). They believe that scaling will weaken their teeth. It is completely false.

Professional cleaning doesn’t not weaken the teeth.  Scaling controls the tartar forming on the teeth. Dentists use ultrasonic instruments that only remove the tartar without affecting the teeth.

Recently, the FDI World Dental Federation launched a year-long campaign dedicated to raising awareness and issues around oral health and the importance of oral hygiene.

Nearly half of the world’s population, or 3.5 billion people, suffer from oral diseases, the majority of them in low- and middle-income countries, the World Health Organization said on Thursday.

The most common oral illnesses are tooth decay, severe gum disease, tooth loss and oral cancers, with untreated tooth decay affecting nearly 2.5 billion people, the United Nations agency said.

About 380,000 new cases of oral cancers are diagnosed every year, it said.

WHO cited large out-of-pocket expenditure and the unavailability of highly specialized dental equipment in primary healthcare facilities as two of the reasons for the high prevalence of oral diseases, especially in poor countries.

“Oral health has long been neglected in global health, but many oral diseases can be prevented,” said WHO Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

The agency suggested countries include equitable oral health services as part of their national planning and integrate oral health services into their primary health care models, while also improving access to affordable fluoride toothpaste, among other measures.

Oral diseases: an increasing global burden about 3.5 billion people worldwide were affected by oral diseases in 2019, making them the most widespread conditions among the more than 300 diseases and conditions that affect humanity.

Oral diseases have remained the most dominant conditions globally since 1990.

Among the major oral diseases, untreated caries of permanent teeth is the most prevalent with around 2 billion cases, severe periodontal disease follows with around 1 billion cases, then untreated caries of deciduous teeth with about 510 million cases and edentulism with 350 million cases (all in 2019).

The combined estimated number of cases of oral diseases globally is about 1 billion higher than cases of all five main NCDs (mental disorders, cardiovascular disease, diabetes mellitus, chronic respiratory diseases and cancers) combined

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