There is a close relationship between oral health and the general health of an individual. The mouth, like the skin, is an external indicator of our state of health and shows signs and symptoms of what is happening in our body.
However, according to the latest data released by the INE, 726,700 people in Murcia have not visited a dentist for a check-up for a year or more and 135,600 have never been at all. In addition, only half of children brush their teeth every day and less than half of adults, 43% do likewise.
Experts say that Oral health care helps to control diabetes, to prevent cardiovascular and respiratory diseases. In addition, the observation of certain oral traits can reveal kidney problems, anxiety, anorexia, digestive disorders, even an early diagnosis of oral cancer.
The mouth is a complex ecosystem in which a great deal of bacteria is present, which remains balanced when the ecosystem remains healthy. However, any biological imbalance can cause periodontal diseases and even systemic diseases that affect general health.
“To maintain a balance in the oral health system, good oral hygiene is necessary, based on daily brushing and flossing,” explains Dr. David Salmerón, director of Salmerón Cambra Clínic, a specialist in surgery and implants and an advocate of Dental Safety. He says that “many diseases that affect the body as a whole have their first manifestation in the oral cavity”.
The relationship between general health and oral health is bi-directional; people with weak immune systems are more likely to have higher instances of mouth infections. Gastrointestinal, respiratory and vascular diseases can also affect oral health. Some medicines and a lack of certain nutrients also cause problems in our mouth.
It is important to include periodic reviews of our mouth in our health care habits, in a preventive way and as part of the care of our health in general. It is advisable to go to the dentist every 6 months, also a good practice for health and for the pocket, since prevention and early detection will avoid many treatments and will allow us to maintain our teeth much longer.
However, despite the scientific recommendations, going to the dentist on a regular basis is not a habit that is very well established in Spain. According to a 2016 study from the University of Murcia, 77.4% of women never visit a dentist unless they have a problem, compared to 52.8% of men. The main reason for not going on a regular basis, is the price.