What is WOHD and how does it affect your dental health?

Did you know that over 90% of the world’s population will suffer from an oral disease at some point during their lifetime?  This is a staggering statistic that can be significantly reduced through global recognition, education, and the help of dental professionals to encourage change in their patients’ individual hygiene.

The FDI World Dental Federation serves as the principal representative body for more than one million dentists worldwide.  Starting in 2007 the FDI has officially designated March 20th as “World Oral Health Day” (WOHD). WOHD is the largest global awareness campaign for oral health.  Each year there is a specific theme that is the primary focus for the year.  The three year theme “Say ahh” will be used in years 2018-2020.  The sub theme for 2018, “Say ahh, think mouth, think health” focuses on the direct link between a person’s oral hygiene and their overall health.  “Say ahh” focuses on four main messages.

Oral health is much more than a nice smile. A healthy mouth allows you to function well on a day to day basis.  Speaking, smiling, drinking, and eating are all easier to do with a healthy mouth. An unhealthy mouth can make these functions much more difficult due to discomfort, pain, disease, and a lack of self-confidence.

Oral health and general health have a two-way relationship. Dr. Baier can learn a lot from you saying “Ahh”.  An oral exam can reveal a great deal when it comes to a person’s eating habits, sleeping habits, diet, tobacco, and alcohol use.  Neglecting to live a healthy lifestyle and taking care of your teeth can commonly lead to tooth decay and gum disease.  Oral diseases have been linked to more serious health conditions including diabetes, some cancers, heart disease, and respiratory issues.  The two way relationship refers to the general diseases that some people have that directly affect oral health.  A person with Diabetes has a much higher chance of developing gum disease.

The mouth cannot be isolated from the rest of the body.  It is extremely important to focus on all aspects of health and hygiene since the body works together as a single unit.  Purely focusing on the mouth and oral hygiene will help reduce oral diseases, but neglecting to exercise regularly can have a reverse impact on your teeth.

Most oral diseases share common risk factors with other diseases.  The most common triggers are based on a person’s individual lifestyle and behavior.  An unhealthy diet, harmful consumption of alcohol, poor hygiene and use of tobacco products will significantly raise the likelihood of disease.  The good news is, living a healthy lifestyle, making good diet choices, avoiding tobacco use, and drinking alcohol in moderation can have a significantly positive affect on battling the development of oral diseases.

“It’s never too early or too late to start looking after your mouth, your body with thank you.” – FDI World Dental Federation

We encourage you to let World Oral Health Day be just another reminder to make your oral health a priority today and every day of the year. If this works as a reminder to schedule your routine cleaning, don’t procrastinate – call us today!