Message for WOHD by Prof. Dr. Shamim Akhtar
Prof. Dr. Shamim Akhtar
HOD Periodontology, Peshawar Dental College
World Oral Health Day, which we celebrate each year on 20th March, is meant to promote the importance of a healthy mouth. It is well established that there is an intrinsic link between oral health, general health and quality of life, yet oral health remains a neglected part of global health.
About 90% of the world’s population suffer from oral diseases in the form of dental caries, periodontal diseases and oral cancers. These diseases are initiated by the accumulation of dental biofilm on the teeth surfaces as well as sub-gingivally, which are not removed on a daily basis. However there are a number of risk factors independent of absolute level of plaque biofilm, such as sugar and sugary products, environmental risk factors like tobacco smoking and smokeless tobacco, and diabetes.
When we have gums disease, our gums bleed when we are cleaning teeth or eating food. Gums may swell up, and you may have halitosis. The unsightly appearance of unhealthy red or bluish red gums makes our smile unhealthy, which is very off-putting for others.
If left untreated, this condition this can lead to premature tooth loss and can affect our appearance, chewing, speech, comfort and confidence.
These diseases are preventable and their treatment helps in the reduction of overall disease burden. There is an increased emphases on oral hygiene practices, healthy foods, and the control of other risk factors that make the tissue more susceptible to these diseases. Having a healthy mouth means clean healthy natural teeth and healthy gums, giving us a pleasant appearance.
A disease-free mouth helps our sense of well being, self esteem, and pride in our appearance. We will enjoy tasting and chewing our food. We can speak with confidence, without any of the hesitation that comes with having bad breath or having loose or ill fitting denture.
It is suggested that promoting and improving oral health should be part of the routine agenda of healthcare policy makers and clinicians. It is further emphasized that the importance of oral health is essential for general health and well-being.