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World Oral Health Day is on March 20
Dr. Temjennungsang Longchari
Dental Touch & Facial Aesthetics
Did you know that oral disease affects 3.9 billion people worldwide? With untreated dental caries impacting almost half of the world’s population (44%) it is the most prevalent of all the 291 conditions included in the Global Burden of Disease Study. It’s shocking facts like this that drove FDI World Dental Federation to launch World Oral Health Day (WOHD) back in 2007.
This year’s theme is ‘Live Mouth Smart’ empowers people to take control of their oral health –
throughout life – so they can enjoy a healthy, functional mouth from childhood into old age.
It conveys the message that by making smart decisions such as adopting good oral hygiene habits, avoiding risk factors and having a regular dental check-up, they can help prevent oral disease.
Oral health is more than a beautiful smile!
A healthy mouth allows you to speak, smile, smell, taste, touch, chew, swallow and convey a range of emotions with confidence and without pain, discomfort and disease. No matter what your age – 5, 25, 65 or 85 years – oral health is vital to your general health and well-being.
Oral disease can impact every aspect of your life from personal relationships and self-confidence to school, work or even enjoying your food. It can also potentially lead to social isolation where you may avoid laughing or smiling and interacting with others as you feel embarrassed about your teeth and people’s perception of your oral health.
An unhealthy mouth, for example if you have gum disease, can increase your risk of diabetes, heart disease, pancreatic cancers and pneumonia. So keeping your mouth healthy is crucial to keeping it functioning correctly and for maintaining your general health.
Oral disease facts: Global
1. Globally, between 60–90% of schoolchildren and nearly 100% adults have tooth decay, often leading to pain and discomfort
2. Severe periodontal (gum) disease, which may result in tooth loss, is found in 15–20% of middle-aged (35–44 years) adults
3. Severe periodontitis (gum disease) and untreated tooth decay in the primary teeth (baby teeth) are among the top 10 most prevalent of all conditions.
4. Globally, about 30% of people aged 65–74 years have no natural teeth, a burden expected to increase in the light of ageing populations
Oral habits and oral health condition: Nagaland (Nagaland School Oral Health Survey 2013-2014)
1. Only 22.3% brushes both in the morning and at night
2. 71.5 % do not brush at night
3. 13.7 % uses random object for cleaning teeth (straw, charcoal, tree tweak)
4. 1.7% have not brushed teeth in their lives (2011 Nagaland population census is 19,80,602. So, 1.7% means 33670 children have never brushed)
5. 43.7% experienced toothache
6. 48.5% have bleeding gum and gum disease
7. Only 19% have visited a dentist.
Oral disease is associated with significant pain and anxiety, as well as disfigurement, acute and chronic infections, eating and sleep disruption, and can result in an impaired quality of life. In villages and remote areas in Nagaland, this is exacerbated due to the lack of pain control and treatment not being readily available.
Call to action
1. Governments to recognize the lack of awareness on oral disease and implement policies that help to prevent and manage them
2. Policymakers to work with Indian Dental Association Nagaland State Branch (IDANSB) to define strategies to address the growing oral disease burden
3. Banning unhealthy food from the school environment
4. Removal of taxation and tariffs on fluoride toothpaste and pass on savings to the consumer
5. Reducing barriers to Oral healthcare.
Let us act today to protect our oral health by getting involved with World Oral Health Day activities on 20 March. The IDA Nagaland state Branch reaffirming their commitment to protecting our own and our family’s oral health, by organizing a FREE of cost consultation and examination, in all the private clinics in Nagaland on 20 March 2017.
World Oral Health Day is March 20. Never a better time to brush up on your oral health!