[Press Release] Saint Lucia joined the rest of the world in celebrating World Oral Health Day on Monday March 20th.
As part of the observance the Dental Unit in the Ministry of Health and Wellness launched a selfie competitionfor secondary school students.
“Say Ahh,think mouth, think health at the dentist,” is the theme for the next three yearsfor the observance of World Oral Health Day which was launched in 2018. Deputy Permanent Secretary, Verena Calderon said maintaining a healthy mouth is crucial in maintaining ones overall health and quality of life.
“One cannot deny the benefits of a cavity free beautiful smile. It opens the doors of communication that would have otherwise remain shut. It boost the confidents and self-esteem of the individual as well as reduces the aggravation of other health disease such as diabetes, respiratory cardiac conditions. So let me take this opportunity to wish everyone happy oral health day. Let’s spread the word and encourage our family, friends and everyone that we meet to visit the dentist regularly”.
Senior Dental Surgeon Dr. Sherry Ephraim Le Compte said the health status of the mouth is a mirror image of the general body and it can affect our overall health.
“Studies have shown that the toxins produced by the bacteria in the mouth in gum disease affect the pancreas. The insulin produced is not very effective in maintaining proper blood sugar levels and so diabetics with poor oral hygiene may have difficulty in controlling their blood sugar even if they take medication. Hence it is so important for health care professionals to refer diabetic patients for their regular dental checkups. The toxins also that are released by the bacteria from the mouth can enter the blood stream and can form plaque in the arteries leading to blood clots and blockage. The toxins can also cause the liver to produce proteins that cause inflammation which may eventually lead to heart attack or stroke. Pregnant woman who may have poor oral hygiene due to their change in hormones, inflammation of the gums, nausea, repeated vomiting, reduce breasting etc. are more likely to have preterm birth due to the inflammation caused by the bacteria when it enters the blood stream and crosses the placenta. These are just some of the examples of how poor oral hygiene is related to our overall health. ”.
As part of World Oral Health Day observance, the Dental Unit also launched a selfie at the dentist competition, for children of ages 12 and 13. This is a health promotion activity geared to encourage young people to visit the dentist regularly. The launch took place at the Financial Centre in Pointe Seraphine.