Putting a spotlight on the mouth – World Oral Health Day 2021
As you may know, this patient population, if left untreated, can experience significant bleeds, including in the mouth. However, when properly managed, these patients shouldn’t face any increased complication in dental health. Unfortunately, many patients and treating dentists fear each other, often due to a lack of education on both parts. This results in:
1) Dentists being reluctant to provide adequate oral care to patients with these disorders for fear of causing bleeds and;
2) Patients not taking adequate steps towards good oral hygiene for fear of bleeds. This often results in poor oral health, followed by patients needing more complex and invasive dental procedures, which reinforces their fear in dental care and strengthens the myth of them being complex and difficult patients.
This vicious circle leads to patients facing unnecessary complications, loss of confidence and poor quality of life.
On World Oral Health Day, we spoke with our longstanding and dedicated friend of the EHC, Dr Alison Dougall, to get her advice for maintaining a healthy smile and mouth!
Here are some of her top tips:
Brush your teeth twice a day – especially before you go to bed and use fluoride toothpaste to avoid cavities!
Wear a mouth guard if you are playing a contact sport to avoid trauma to the teeth!
If your gums are bleeding, visit a hygienist to get them checked out, as you may be developing gingivitis or gum disease.
Limit your sugars and fizzy drinks in-between meal times to avoid cavities and thinning of tooth enamel.
Mouth cancer is on the increase, especially in younger people. If you are a smoker, check your mouth regularly for early signs and visit your dentist if you have an ulcer that doesn’t heal after 2 weeks.
Visit your dentist at least once a year so you can catch problems early and avoid extensive treatment or getting toothache.
Children should always visit the dentist before their first birthday to check for signs of early decay or developmental tooth defects.
We know how important good oral hygiene is for people with bleeding disorders and the EHC are committed to including dental education in our meetings! We will be planning a dental education workshop later in the year – stay tuned to EHC communication channels for more information!!