National smile month is a charity campaign by the Oral Health Foundation to raise awareness of the benefits of good oral health. The campaign champions the benefits of having a healthy smile, which can be achieved by undertaking simple steps such as, brushing your teeth twice daily, using mouthwash ,flossing and cutting down on sugary food and drinks.
The money that is raised by the campaign goes towards improving people’s quality of life through better oral health. It will help tackle unfair inequalities, improve childhood oral health and give people better access to help and support.
Statistics provided by the oral health foundation found that although awareness of the benefits of good oral health is on the rise there is still some way to go in addressing oral health issues in the UK. They found that 39% of adults don’t go to the dentist regularly and 31% of adults have tooth decay. It was also noted that 33% of adults have never flossed or cleaned in-between their teeth.
It has been found that poor oral health can also be linked to other serious health issues, which is why it is so important to maintain good oral hygiene. Gum disease is one of the main oral health conditions that can be linked to other health problems.
People who suffer from gum disease are twice as likely to have heart disease as those without. Similarly those with gum disease are more likely to suffer from a stroke than those without. People who are diagnosed with diabetes are also at a higher risk of suffering with gum disease, which can increase your blood sugar and put you at greater risk of diabetic complication
Symptoms of gum disease and things to look out for can include:
• Sore gums
• Swollen or red gums
• Bleeding after brushing
If you are suffering from any of the above symptoms then you should consider making an appointment with your dentist.