News & Features

Poor Oral Health can Lead to Systemic Health Conditions
Published: Wednesday, May 24, 2017 5:05:30 PM

“The mouth is not a separate entity in terms of care.  Many persons aren’t aware that lack of proper oral health care can and will result in a number of diseases,” said Dr Lincoln Edwards, Northern Caribbean University President and Dental Surgeon.

He was speaking as a guest host on the weekly health programme on NCU 91FM, Let’s Talk Health.

In recognition of Child’s month, he was discussing the issue of taking care of your child’s oral health”.  He continued to say, “we know from studies that the infection (from decayed teeth) is not retained in the mouth only but can spread to other areas of the body and cause systemic health conditions.” 

Some of these health conditions include, gastrointestinal diseases, chronic liver disease and ulcerative colitis.

Paedodontist Dr Erica Veitch joined the discussion and encouraged parents to ensure that their child’s teeth are always clean before retiring to bed.  “We are seeing a lot of teeth decay in toddlers. Which is actually an infection which can spread to other teeth.”

She says though it is tempting for parents to have their children fall asleep while feeding, it can be quite detrimental. “What you don’t realize is the milk, breast or formula, will stay on the teeth the entire night and saliva tend to get less and that’s when the bacteria have a field day.”

Diet and nutrition also play a key role in facilitating proper oral health.  This diet should include, healthy servings of fruits, vegetables, cheese and water and a reduction in the amount of sweets or sugar-infused products.

Ms Marie Powell, Regional Dietitian recommends that parents introduce children to vegetables before fruits so they can acquire the taste.  “At 6-12 months’ parents are encouraged to start with vegetables first.  Vegetables tend to taste bland unlike fruits which are sweet.  When children acquire this sweet taste they will not want the vegetables.”

Let’s Talk Health is aired on NCU 91 FM, each Tuesday 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.  NCU president, Dr Lincoln Edwards serves as special guest host every fifth Tuesday and will host the programme again on October 30.

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