Skip to content

April is Dental Health Month

There is a direct connection between good oral health and overall whole health as everything that happens in your mouth affects your body

Oral health as whole health

Your mouth is one of the major sensory areas in our body. We taste, lick, chew, smile and talk with our mouths. Our mouths bring us nourishment and social contact. A smile is universally accepted as a friendly greeting. There is direct connection between good oral health and overall whole health as everything that happens in your mouth affects your body. The Canadian Dental Association says that there is an association between oral disease, diabetes, pneumonia, heart disease and low birth-weight babies.

Poor oral health can affect a person's quality of life and oral disease, like any other disease, needs to be treated. Chronic mouth infection is a serious problem yet toothaches and bleeding, and tender gums are often ignored, while any pain elsewhere in the body would mean a trip to the doctor. As part of a healthy lifestyle and to help reduce oral disease, follow these five steps to good mouth health.

Visit your dentist regularly

Regular exams and cleaning will prevent or stop problems from getting worse. Insist on an oral cancer clinical exam as part of your regular check-up.

Keep your mouth clean

Brush your teeth and tongue twice a day with a soft toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste to remove any plaque and bacteria that cause cavities, periodontal disease and bad breath. Floss every day. Your toothbrush cannot get between your teeth. Your dentist may recommend a mouth rinse or fluoride rinse specific to your needs.

Eat, drink but be wary

The nutrients that come form healthy foods helps you to fight cavities, gum disease and boosts your immune system. Limit how much and especially how often you consume foods high in sugar. An occasional sweet drink or snack will not hurt but sipping on sugary drinks all day will cause high levels of decay. Limit your consumption of high acid foods as they cause dental erosion.

Check your mouth regularly

Look for warning signs of periodontal (gum) disease such as red, puffy, sore, sensitive gums; bleeding when you floss or brush; or bad breath that won't go away. Gum disease is the major reason why adults lose their teeth.

Look for warning signs of oral cancer. The three most common sites for oral cancer are: the sides and bottom of your tongue and the floor of your mouth. The warning sings include: unexplained bleeding, open sores that do not heal, white or red patches, numbness or tingling, and small lumps or thickening of your tissues.

Look for signs of tooth decay. This may include sensitivity to hot, cold, sweet, pressure or spontaneous pain.

Avoid all tobacco products

Smoking and smokeless tobacco will contribute to tooth loss, infected gums, bad breath and oral cancer. Let your dentist know the quantity of cigarettes smoked or where you hold the smokeless tobacco. Ask your dentist or family doctor for advice on how to quit and how to choose which stop smoking aid will help you.

Prevent and Protect

If you participate in contact sports wear a sportsguard to prevent injury to your teeth.

Grinding or clenching your teeth will cause excess wear and joint pain. Safeguard your enamel by wearing a nightguard/grinding appliance.


If you take care of your teeth and gums at home and visit your dentist regularly your smile will last a lifetime. You and your dentist are partners in keeping your smile - good for life.



About the Author: Staff Writer

Read more