Dental Organization Highlights Link between a Healthy Mouth and Overall Wellness
January 22,2014 -- The Connecticut State Dental Association (CSDA) will re-launch the awareness campaign, “Want a healthy body? Start with a healthy mouth,” on January 27 to educate the public on the connection between a healthy mouth and overall wellness.
The campaign features a 30 second television commercial and three 15 second spots scheduled to air statewide.
“The objective of this campaign is to raise awareness of the importance of going to the dentist and good oral health. The condition of a person’s mouth often reflects the health of a person’s body,” said Dr. Mark Desrosiers, CSDA President. “Dentists can uncover the first signs of systemic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes and by looking at a person’s lips, tongue, oral tissue and salivary gland function.”
The CSDA recommends scheduling bi-annual dental checkups and yearly physical exams, which are both important to a person’s oral and overall health. A regular dental exam allows your dentist to watch for signs that may indicate problems elsewhere in the body. For example, oral exams can pick up on signs of poor nutrition and hygiene, growth and development problems, and improper jaw alignment.
Dentists can also screen for pre-cancerous changes in the oral tissue. Oral cancer can be prevented if found and treated at the precancerous stage. According to the American Dental Association, people should watch for the following symptoms of mouth or throat cancer and visit a dentist if they do not go away within two weeks:
- a sore or irritation
- red or white patches
- pain, tenderness or numbness in mouth or lips
- a lump, thickening, rough spot, crust or small eroded area
- difficulty chewing, swallowing, speaking or moving your tongue or jaw
- a change in the way your teeth fit together when you close your mouth
To promote oral and overall, the CSDA recommends people:
- Schedule bi-annual exams with your dentist and annual exams with your primary care physician;
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day with fluoridated toothpaste;
- Floss at least once a day;
- Don’t smoke;
- Eat a balanced diet and limit snacks; and
- Limit alcohol intake.