Oral health and general wellbeing go hand in hand, but according to the World Health Organization (WHO) globally 60 to 90 per cent of school-aged children and nearly 100 per cent of adults have dental cavities.
These alarming statistics are indicative of a society where sugar is increasingly present in our foods, and where remedial treatment is often considered the way to combat oral problems.
But long before treatment is required, a good oral hygiene regimen and prevention are far better than any cure. Here’s an insight into the worldwide state of oral health, and the key strategies to address a 21st century problem.
Key facts from the World Health Organization
- Worldwide, 60–90% of school children and nearly 100% of adults have dental cavities.
- Severe periodontal (gum) disease, which may result in tooth loss, is found in 15–20% of middle-aged (35-44 years) adults.
- Globally, about 30% of people aged 65–74 have no natural teeth.
- Oral disease in children and adults is higher among poor and disadvantaged population groups.
- Risk factors for oral diseases include an unhealthy diet, tobacco use, harmful alcohol use and poor oral hygiene, and social determinants.
Yes, those statistics are frightening and they should be. Here, in the comfort of the Western world we can rest easy in the knowledge a quick trip to the dentist will remedy simple issues, but that’s not the case elsewhere.
In less developed countries, small dental issues can lead to far great problems, as the World Health Organization further notes. They explain a recent Global Burden of Disease study indicated untreated tooth decay is the most prevalent of 291 major diseases and injuries. Periodontal disease is the sixth most prevalent.
“If left untreated, dental diseases can cause severe pain, infection and negatively impact the quality of life, children’s growth, school attendance and performance, and can lead to poor productivity at work and absenteeism in adults,” says Wagner Marcenes, director of research at Barts Health NHS Trust in London, who led the Oral Health Research Group within the Global Burden of Disease study.
Importantly, oral disease can be a pre-cursor to more significant health problems and is a known risk factor for the four leading chronic diseases; cardiovascular diseases, cancer, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes.
So, what can be done?
Prevention is far better than any cure
A strict oral hygiene regime is the best way to ward off cavities and more serious dental issues like gum and oral disease.
And this involves brushing at least twice every day while being mindful of the types of foods you consume.
The World Health Organization also outlines the following strategies:
- decreasing sugar intake and maintaining a well-balanced nutritional intake to prevent tooth decay and premature tooth loss
- consuming fruit and vegetables that can protect against oral cancer
- stopping tobacco use and decreasing alcohol consumption to reduce the risk of oral cancers, periodontal disease and tooth loss
- ensuring proper oral hygiene
- using protective sports and motor vehicle equipment to reduce the risk of facial injuries; and
- safe physical environments
The natural approach
With oral health now recognised as a significant factor in general health globally, Bare Brush is taking a natural approach. We draw upon a resource recognised by the World Health Organization in the form of toothbrushes and toothpaste derived from the Salvadora Persica tree.
Utilised globally for centuries, the Salvadora Persica tree has some serious scientific credentials to back its popularity, with numerous studies looking into the properties of this unique plant.
One such study notes the World Health Organization encourages the use of Salvadora Persica cleaning sticks, or miswak, while it has also been proven to be effective in combatting bacteria, alleviating gingivitis, and preventing dental cavities.
About Bare Brush
The Bare Brush range features chic, natural toothbrushes with bristles derived from the Salvadora Persica tree while our accompanying toothpaste uses extracted ingredients.
We also appreciate the importance of oral health as a global issue, with a percentage of our profits donated to social causes that provide good oral health care for everyone.