By Cigna Global Wellbeing Solutions
An unhealthy mouth can not only cause discomfort and pain, but also affect your confidence, and even prevent you from going to work. It can make it difficult to eat and drink and also be a sign of more serious health issues. Simply put good oral health is closely linked with your quality of life.
Three diseases account for a big part of the global oral disease burden: tooth decay, gum disease, and oral cancer. Fortunately, most oral diseases and conditions are largely preventable and can be treated when detected early. Oral disease depends on a variety of factors, such as genetics and trauma, but diet and lifestyle have the biggest impact on oral health.2
Did You Know?
- Oral diseases are the most common chronic diseases
- It is estimated that half the world’s population are affected by oral diseases2
- Nearly a third of all people over 65 have no natural teeth
- In most high-income countries dental treatment averages 20% of total out-of-pocket health expenditure2
The marketing of sugars, tobacco, and alcohol encourage the consumption of products that are unhealthy for the mouth. This, paired with low exposure to fluoride and poor access to oral health care has led to a notable increase in oral diseases.2
Protecting your oral health consist of good dental hygiene practices such as brushing your teeth after every meal, flossing every day, using a fluoride mouthwash or sugar-free gum when brushing isn’t possible, replacing your toothbrush every three months; getting regular dental check-ups; making lifestyle changes such as limiting the amount of sugar in your diet and reducing alcohol and tobacco consumption; and wearing protective gear during sports.1
 World Oral Health Day 2020. FDI World Dental Federation. https://www.worldoralhealthday.org/sites/default/files/assets/WOHD20-brochure-EN.pdf. Accessed February 7, 2020.
 Oral health – Key Facts. World Health Organization website. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/oral-health. Reviewed September 24, 2018. Accessed February 7, 2020.
 Oral disease: 10 key facts. FDI World Dental Federation. https://www.fdiworlddental.org/oral-health/ask-the-dentist/facts-figures-and-stats . Accessed February 7, 2020.