Dental Health Week – step away from the lollipop

Dental Health Week


This week (7th to 13th August) is Dental Health Week! – Head to the website for all your dental health week goodies

Now granted, that might not be the most exciting news you’ve heard recently, but there are some good reasons to stay on top of your dental health.

One of the most notable, but sometimes not know, is that poor oral health is significantly associated with a range of chronic diseases including:

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Diabetes
  • Respiratory disease
  • Stroke

There is also emerging evidence linking oral health to:

  • Kidney disease
  • Peripheral vascular disease
  • Dementia
  • Premature birth
  • Pneumonia
  • Stomach Ulcers
  • Obesity

Who would have thought that the health of our mouth could have such wide-ranging impacts on our body? How does this happen?

There are a few mechanisms through which oral health might influence general health.

Infection is one way – The mouth is home to a vast number and variety of bacteria. Infections arising in the mouth (e.g. the gums) can spread to other areas of the body via the bloodstream. This is one way that oral health is proposed to influence coronary heart disease, through the migration of oral bacteria to the coronary arteries.

Nutrition is another – Tooth loss is reliability associated with poor general health. A suggested link is that tooth loss is associated with deteriorating diet and compromised nutrition. For example, individuals might focus on very soft foods (neglecting fresh fruits and vegetables), or increase intake of highly sweetened foods to overcome the taste reductions imposed by dentures.

Finally there are psychological and social pathways – Dental and oral disease can affect the way a person looks and sounds. Impacts on appearance and speech can lead to anxiety, depression, poor self–esteem and social stigma which in turn may inhibit opportunities for education, employment and social relationships, all of which have linked to health and well-being.

So what should you do?

You should go to the dentist.

Sorry, you were probably hoping to hear something different.

Honestly, it is a bit cheeky of me to suggest that, because I once went 4 years without seeing a dentist. However I did see one recently and got a clean bill of health (BAM!)

Need to find a dentist? –

Want to comment on this article, or ask me a question about the health and wellbeing service available to you as a student?
Feel free to comment below, abuse me on Twitter (@Dr_Furber), contact me on Skype (search for ‘eMental Health Project Officer Gareth’), or email me (gareth.furber{at}

Posted in

Leave a Reply