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British people are unaware of wider effects of poor oral health

Dental surgeries may want to take advantage of dental welcome packs and marketing campaigns to stress the importance of a good oral health on the overall wellbeing of the body.

Although there are many studies which show a direct correlation between poor dental health and wider problems, there is still a lack of education and many people may not even be aware that there is a link at all.

A recent study by UK care provider Simplyhealth showed that only a small number of people are aware that inadequate oral health care can lead to severe diseases such as dementia and arthritis.

Only 33 per cent of people taking part in the online survey (which polled 5,000 members of the public) knew that oral diseases are linked to cardiovascular problems. Five per cent of those questioned were aware of a link to dementia and only six per cent knew that oral health problems could lead to pancreatic cancer and rheumatoid arthritis.

Comparatively, 60 per cent recognised a link to mouth cancer – showing that this is an issue which has received greater coverage.

James Glover, spokesperson for Simplyhealth, believes people need to make a greater effort to care for their oral health if they are to minimise their risk to other diseases.

“As well as visiting the dentist it is important to maintain the health of your mouth on a daily basis. We’re all taught to brush our teeth twice a day, however a worrying 20 per cent of individuals in our survey admit they don’t even do this,” he said.  

What’s more, the figure climbs to 25 per cent of 25 to 34 year olds, who are evidently more relaxed about their attitude towards their dental health. This could indicate that a vast number of British adults are still unaware of how best to care for their oral health, Simplyhealth suggests.

However, people should drum into their heads the fact that prevention is better than cure. It’s easy to wait until something is wrong before going to see a dentist. To ensure good oral health, regular check-ups, brushing, flossing and rinsing with alcohol-free mouthwash are all essential.

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