Marking the annual Oral and Dental Health Week, the head of the Turkish Dental Association (TDA) said there is “no miracle” method for maintaining healthy teeth and gums.
At least 3.5 billion people worldwide are affected by oral diseases, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). As oral health is known to be the fundamental sign of a person’s overall health.
A WHO report said, “cancers of the lip and oral cavity are among the top 15 most common cancers worldwide, with nearly 180,000 deaths each year.”
Ahmet Tarik Ismen, head of the Turkish group, told Anadolu Agency that basic dental health methods are enough to maintain good oral and dental health while preventing further illnesses.
He said dentistry is moving further in the direction of preventive medicine and one of the most important developments for maintaining oral and dental health is implants, which allows for the “elimination of deficiencies in oral and dental health.”
“However, the important thing here should be to prevent major problems that may arise with preventive medicine before reaching the point of deficiencies in oral and dental health,” he said.
Dr. Ismen said the trend across the globe is “preventive medicine,” where “there is progress toward protecting the general health of patients through preventive dentistry via the field of holistic medicine.”
Emphasizing that “oral health is an integral part of overall health,” according to the WHO and FDI World Dental Federation, Ismen said oral health allows “detection of some general health problems” and allows “the elimination of some problems by improving oral health.”
“The increase in gum diseases increases the rate of miscarriage in pregnancy,” he said, and research shows that the rate of miscarriage increases by 1 in 8 during pregnancy in case of increased gum disease in a woman.
He noted the relationship between a mother’s oral and dental health to her children’s health.
“The second very important fact is that if a mother [who is pregnant] has oral, dental health problem or gum disease which turned into a deep-rooted issue then it increases the obesity risk in their children,” he said.
Preventive illnesses such as diabetes could also be identified and steps taken to handle ailments by controlling them in a timely manner, according to Ismen.
He said people should not expect a “miracle” in oral and dental health techniques. “Very basic methods” such as regular brushing, flossing and mouth wash are enough to remove bacterial plaque in the mouth.
– COVID-19 and oral health
Ismen said there is serious research on the coronavirus and the oral health relationship and that it is ongoing but there is yet to be a link found.
“However, we do know this very well that it is important to have more sterile, healthier mouths for bacterial retention or reduced virulence,” he said.
Ismen stressed that a sterile mouth would reduce the adherence of bacteria allowing a “great benefit” in terms of overall health.
He urged everyone to get an annual dental check-up and said children starting from age 3 must also get their teeth checked regularly.
Brushing teeth at least twice a day is a must, he noted.
“Problems that could be solved cheaply at first with a simple process, could be done at more expensive costs and cause serious labor as time passes and the problem grows, so it should be solved as quickly as possible,” he said.
Ismen drew attention to “baby bottle tooth decay” in children receiving breastmilk or milk before going to bed.
“After milk intake, a child’s mouth should be rinsed, or the teeth and palate should be wiped with a gauze cloth. This is important for parents to know because we want a cavity-free generation, a healthy generation. We must make an effort in this,” he said.