Dental News

Improvements to Oral Health on WHO List of Objectives

January 31, 2014

The World Health Organization takes oral health seriously and so should you

DentistThe World Health Organization has recognized that chronic, preventable oral health problems such as gum disease and tooth decay are causing significant suffering around the world. Because having healthy, pain-free teeth can drastically improve one’s quality of life, the WHO has established a special Global Oral Health Program to address the top risks of oral health issues in the most vulnerable populations. The program’s top three priority action areas as follows.

Diet, Nutrition, & Oral Health

The world’s population is actually suffering from two different kinds of malnutrition: deficiency and excess. The WHO has recognized that both types of malnutrition can have a negative impact on oral health. Lack of nutrients can prevent healthy tooth development among poor populations, and overconsumption of sugary foods and acidic beverages can erode tooth enamel and cause cavities in wealthy populations. People who don’t eat enough fresh fruits and vegetables with Vitamins A, C, and E may be at higher risk for developing oral cancer, making it important to promote and facilitate proper nutrition in developing and developed countries alike.

Proper Use of Fluorides

Fluoridation has been identified by decades’ worth of research as a very effective means of preventing tooth decay. In many developed countries, fluoride is already in the municipal water supplies for this reason. The WHO is striving to improve access to affordable fluoride toothpastes in developing countries to help reduce the incidence of tooth decay and tooth loss in these countries. No matter what country you live in, brushing twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste is highly recommended.

Tobacco Use

According to WHO data, tobacco use has declined in many high-income countries, but continues to increase in other countries. Tobacco is a risk for oral cancer and periodontal disease, and smoking also irritates gum tissues making it harder to heal after losing a tooth or suffering an injury to the mouth. In an effort to reduce the oral health consequences of smoking, as well as the overall health problems associated with tobacco, the WHO has launched a campaign to encourage dentists to talk about these issues with their patients.

How Do You Measure Up Against WHO Goals?

Just because we live in a prosperous country doesn’t mean residents of California are immune to the dental problems that plague people the world over. If you are experiencing tooth or mouth pain, stop and ask yourself whether poor nutrition, lack of proper preventative measures such as fluoride, or tobacco use might be contributing to your problem. Schedule an appointment with a caring and compassionate dentist from California Dental Group to receive a thorough dental exam, detailed advice about improving your oral health, and answers to any questions you might have about your teeth and gums.

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