Everything You Need to Know About Dental and Oral Health

Dental and oral health is an essential part of your overall health and well-being. Poor oral hygiene can lead to dental cavities and gum disease, and has also been linked to heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.

Maintaining healthy teeth and gums is a lifelong commitment. The earlier you learn proper oral hygiene habits — such as brushing, flossing, and limiting your sugar intake — the easier it’ll be to avoid costly dental procedures and long-term health issues.

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Oral Care

Facts about dental and oral health

  • between 60 and 90 percent of school children have at least one dental cavity
  • nearly 100 percent of adults have at least one dental cavity
  • between 15 and 20 percent of adults ages 35 to 44 have severe gum disease
  • about 30 percent of people around the world ages 65 to 74 don’t have any natural teeth left
  • in most countries, out of every 100,000 people, there are between 1 and 10 cases of oral cancer

There are many steps you can take to keep your teeth healthy. For example, dental and oral disease can be greatly reduced by:

  • brushing your teeth with fluoride toothpaste at least twice a day
  • flossing your teeth at least once a day
  • decreasing your intake of sugar
  • eating a diet high in fruits and vegetables
  • avoiding tobacco products
  • drinking fluoridated water

Symptoms of dental and oral problems

You shouldn’t wait until you have symptoms to visit your dentist. Going to the dentist twice a year will usually allow them to catch a problem before you even notice any symptoms.

If you experience any of the following warning signs of dental health issues, you should make an appointment to see your dentist as soon as possible:

  • ulcers, sores, or tender areas in the mouth that won’t heal after a week or two
  • bleeding or swollen gums after brushing or flossing
  • chronic bad breath
  • sudden sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures or beverages
  • pain or toothache
  • loose teeth
  • receding gums

Oral cancer

Oral cancers include cancer of the:

  • gums
  • tongue
  • lips
  • cheek
  • floor of the mouth
  • hard and soft palate

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