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Article posted on April 3, 2023

Oral Health Awareness

Oral health is being able to smile, speak, chew, swallow, touch, and express feelings and emotions without pain, discomfort, and disease. Maintaining good oral health is important for your wellbeing and quality of life at any age or stage of life.

Your oral health can affect and be affected by your general health. For example, diabetes increases the risk of gum disease and gum disease can make diabetes harder to manage. Good oral health lowers the risks linked to diabetes, heart disease, cancer and chronic respiratory diseases.

Your mouth shows signs of tooth decay, gum disease, and other oral health problems. It can also show signs of other diseases if you’re missing certain foods from your diet, and unhealthy habits such as using tobacco and tobacco products, and alcohol.

Tooth decay, gum disease and oral cancer are chronic oral diseases. A chronic disease is a health condition that lasts a long time and can affect people of all ages. Most chronic diseases can be prevented, but they are still the leading cause of poor health, including poor oral health. 

Risk factors for oral diseases include poor oral hygiene, an unhealthy diet, using tobacco and tobacco-like products, and drinking too much alcohol. These risk factors and others, like not getting enough physical activity, raise the risk of heart disease, cancer, chronic respiratory diseases, and diabetes. It is important to know the risk factors for chronic diseases in order to prevent them.

Regular oral hygiene and care will support both your oral and overall health. Here are some tips:

  • Regularly floss and brush using fluoride toothpaste
  • Eat a healthy diet and limit sugary drinks and food
  • Visit your dentist at least once a year—even if you have no natural teeth or have dentures
  • Avoid tobacco products
  • Limit alcoholic drinks
  • See your doctor or dentist if you experience any changes in taste or smell

Talk to your doctor if you have any questions about your health. If you need to find a family doctor, visit Alberta PCNs at this link

Alberta Primary Care Networks can help you maintain your overall and oral health by learning more about many of the risk factors mentioned above and managing existing conditions through our free health classes. Visit this link to search for classes and learn more. Topics include nutrition, mental health, exercise, diabetes, smoking cessation, and more. Classes are online and in person and you do not need to be attached to a specific PCN to register for a class.  



Government of Alberta--Your Mouth, Your Body, Your Health, 10 Facts

AHS Oral Health 

Basic Dental Care 

Diabetes: Taking Care of Your Teeth and Gums 

Gum Disease 


Last Updated: Monday, April 03, 2023

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