Why oral health is important

A healthy mouth lets people eat, speak and smile without pain or embarrassment.

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Impacts of poor oral health

Poor oral health can stop people from living life to the full due to:

  • pain
  • problems with speaking, eating and sleeping
  • bleeding gums
  • bad breath
  • low self-esteem
  • changes in behaviour (aggression, not wanting to do things they used to enjoy doing)
  • difficulty chewing and swallowing

Oral health and general health

There are links between the health of the mouth and the health of the rest of the body. Oral diseases share common risk factors with a number of other diseases such as:

  • heart disease
  • respiratory illness
  • cancer
  • stroke

Poor oral health can increase the risk of infections in the lungs and heart and long term gum disease can make it harder for people with diabetes to manage their blood sugar levels.

Having a healthy mouth can help to keep the rest of the body healthy as well.