Oral health is directly linked to general health, and has an impact on a person’s well being. Dental decay (caries) is one of the most prevalent childhood diseases in our world today, leading to pain, loss of speech and function, loss of space for permanent teeth and loss of self esteem. This is all preventable. Oral health also encompasses gum disease, oral cancer, submucous fibrosis and diseases of the salivary glands. There are common risk factors with medical illnesses such as smoking, alcohol, sexual habits, diet (to guard against diabetes, stroke, heart disease, obesity) and stress. Various general conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, medications (that cause dry mouth with associated problems) and ulcerative colitis etc. all have an impact on the oral environment.
Oral health is not an isolated speciality and messages must be delivered in tandem with preventative general health messages. Health and Care Personnel provide an invaluable resource to oral health. They see the parents and child from birth, when the parents are open to receiving new health messages. They can give advice on diet, breast feeding and nutrition for the new-born baby and brushing as part of the general messages. Good habits can then be established at this early stage. It is far easier to set good habits than it is to change bad habits when the child is older. Residential Care staff see clients at the other end of the spectrum when the clients cannot provide for themselves. We understand that Health and Care Personnel are overworked and understaffed and we don’t want to burden them with any extra work, but feel these messages can be added on to those they are already giving, and they can hand out relevant leaflets.
Our Oral Health Training seeks to provide updates to equip Health and Care Personnel to carry out their job armed with the correct knowledge. This should take about 1 hour and CPD can be offered. We also supply leaflets to hand out. Our hope is that we can all promote health as a whole and the medical profession and the Oral Health Department can work very well together.