Dental Health and The Quality of Life
Going to the dentist often strikes fear among people, regardless of age. Many disregard the necessity for regular check-ups, consulting a dentist only when they begin experiencing uncharacteristic pain. Individuals and communities are affected by this widespread attitude towards oral care; according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), 60 – 90% of school children and nearly 100% of adults worldwide have dental cavities. Dental diseases are most easily preventable. Why, then, do we keep on doing this, and how can we prevent it?
A healthy set of teeth and good oral hygiene can certainly improve the quality of life. Believe it or not, it’s not just about looking attractive: Good dental health tells a lot about your physical, emotional and mental state.
The benefits of good oral health care extend beyond having a set of pearly white teeth. Although symptoms of gum and teeth diseases may be contained within the mouth area, the impact can spread to general health, and quality of life. It is common to suffer from persistent discomfort, made worse during eating and sleeping when afflicted with oral diseases.
Children’s education can be affected by missed school days because of hospitalisation and diminished ability to learn. Even adults lose focus easily when burdened by a nagging pain in their gums and teeth. Gum disease, tooth decay, infections or sores affect the things we do with our mouth such as chewing, smiling, swallowing and even speaking
Besides causing pain and discomfort, oral diseases play a major role in forming self-image, which in turn influences self-esteem and confidence.
The physical and psychological stress these issues cause, combined with social implications and the cost of dental treatment, can have far reaching repercussions on the individual in the long run. This is why medical professionals are increasingly calling not only for dental care to be recognised as an integral facet of healthcare, but for a change in the way we consider oral health: It should be about maintaining a constant, wholesome state of well-being rather than simply being disease-free.