Very often, oral health is not considered an important contributor to overall health and its maintenance is often neglected. Oral health hygiene is worthy of attention and care because a healthy mouth may help to prevent other illnesses. Research shows that certain oral health conditions may increase risks of hearth attack, worsening of diabetes and stroke.
We aim to create a widespread awareness about the importance of oral health care due to its implications on overall health (see part 2 for more).
Implications on overall health
Our mouths can serve as a breeding ground for bacteria. As this bacteria continues to grow in your mouth, these bacteria can travel from your mouth via blood vessels to other areas in your body.
When these bacteria travel to the heart lining, they can cause inflammation in the heart ling and cause Endocarditis. Other studies have found that oral infections caused by inadequate oral hygiene can be associated with cardiovascular disease, stroke and birth problems of new borns. Those with osteoporosis and diabetes may experience further complications in their oral health, so it is important to be extra wary.
The association between oral health and other health conditions is becoming well documented and well recognized within the scientific community. This further emphasizes the importance of oral health care.
Oral health in vulnerable populations
Factors contributing to oral diseases include unhealthy dietary intake of sugar, frequent use of tobacco and alcohol. Further, those who live in poverty and do not have access to clean water often do not have adequate oral hygiene as their oral hygiene is not a priority for their livelihood.
Given this, homeless populations who often battle with tobacco addiction, substance overuse and live in poverty with no access to water are prone to poor oral health and struggle with various oral diseases. These populations may also have other health conditions which may be escalated by their oral diseases.
We recognize that oral health care may not be accessible to these vulnerable populations due to a lack of resources. This is why we are determined to provide access to oral health care to these vulnerable populations.