National Oral Health Month

Why is oral health important?

Oral Health is fundamental to overall health, well-being and quality of life. A healthy mouth enables people to eat, speak and socialize without pain, discomfort or embarrassment.

Pain from untreated dental diseases can lead to eating, sleeping, speaking, and learning problems in children and adolescents, which affect child’s social interactions, school achievement, general health, and quality of life. Rampant dental caries in children adversely affect the overall nutrition necessary for the growth of the body specifically body weight and height. That begins with the first bite and chewing the food efficiently.

What are the most common oral health illnesses of the Filipinos?

Dental Caries (tooth decay) and Periodontal Diseases (gum diseases) are the two most common oral health diseases affecting the Filipinos. 87.4 % Filipinos are suffering from dental caries while 48.3 % has gum disease (based on the 2011 National Monitoring and Evaluation Dental Survey).

How do we prevent these two dental diseases from occurring?

There are many ways these two most common dental diseases can be prevented.

Dental caries can be prevented through…

regular visits to the dentist for early diagnosis and preventive care; professionally applied fluorides & sealants; well-balanced diet; minimize eating sugary foods and good plaque control through regular toothbrushing and flossing.

Gum diseases can be prevented through…

regular visits to the dentist for early detection and treatment; regular and proper toothbrushing and healthy lifestyle such as avoidance of tobacco smoking, drugs & excessive alcohol-intake.

Unlimited smiles are a result of good oral health. Regardless of your attitude, smiling more often can enhance your health and perhaps lengthen your life. Smiling has several advantages, one of which is lowered blood pressure. Laughing more often or smiling more often can help lower your blood pressure, which is crucial for heart health. According to a study by The College of Family Physicians, laughing can raise heart rate and oxygen consumption right away, followed by a time of muscular relaxation, a drop-in heart rate, and a lowering of blood pressure. The risk of getting heart disease is decreased by any amount, no matter how modest. Your stress response is activated and relieved when you smile, which is another effective stress reliever.

Studies have shown that smiling reduces heart rate compared to not smiling when people are faced with stressful conditions.