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Speaking during belated commemorations to mark World Oral Health Day, March 20 2016, in Harare, ZDA president Lovemore Mahachi said oral health was essential to good health which was in turn a basic human right.
It’s nowadays an obvious idea which yet many of us haven’t taken serious enough.
Mahachi urged people to ensure that they eat healthy diets, reduce sugar intake as well as tobacco and alcohol intake.
“Again, we need to reduce our sugar intake. Sugar is the number one enemy risk factor for oral diseases and it is implicated in other diseases,” Mahachi said.
Health and Child Care deputy minister Aldrin Musiiwa said government had a mandate to prevent oral diseases and pathologies through advocating policies conducive to health and healthy lifestyles.
He said some dental conditions and diseases could range from mild, reversible problems to complex, costly, irreversible complications for patients.
Musiiwa said despite the diseases that affect different parts of the mouths being varied, they all had similar prevention methods.
“The most common dental conditions and diseases include decayed and abscessed teeth; dental caries (cavities) is the most common non-communicable disease in the world. Research has demonstrated that sugars are the main cause of tooth decay (holes in teeth),” he said.
“Then there is bad breath (halitotis), gum disease (periodontal disease) which can cause shaking teeth, oral cancers, fluorosis causing discolouration of teeth and other infections in the mouth, including HIV.”
Various researches have established that over 90% of the world’s population suffers from some form of oral or dental disease at least once in their lifetime, with 20% currently suffering from oral diseases, of which 2% is oral cancer.
Musiiwa said although low, the cases were on the rise along with other non-communicable diseases.
“Many of these can easily be treated or prevented with a good oral care routine.”
Poor oral health has been associated with a number of health conditions such as heart disease, pancreatic cancer, pneumonia and lung disease.
World Oral Health Day is celebrated every year on March 20. It is an international day to celebrate the benefits of a healthy mouth and to promote worldwide awareness of the importance of oral hygiene.
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