Oral health

Oral Health Diseases


Oral health is an essential part of staying healthy. Good oral health allows a person to speak, smile, smell, taste, touch, chew, swallow, and make facial expressions to show feelings and emotions. Poor oral health has serious consequences, including painful, disabling, and costly oral diseases. Millions of Americans are living with one or more oral diseases, including:

  • Dental caries (cavities)
  • Periodontal (gum) disease
  • Cleft lip and palate
  • Oral and facial pain
  • Oral and pharyngeal (mouth and throat) cancers

Gum disease, in particular, is associated with diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. In pregnant women, gum disease is also associated with premature births and low birth weight.

Many of these oral diseases may be prevented with regular dental care.

References

Bensley L, VanEenwyk J, Ossiander EM. Associations of self-reported periodontal disease with metabolic syndrome and number of self-reported chronic conditions. Prev Chronic Dis. 2011;8(3):A50. Available from

J Am Dent Assoc. 2006;137(suppl 2):S5-S36. Available from

3Division of Oral Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Public Health Implications of Chronic Periodontal Infections in Adults. Atlanta, GA: 2005.

4Office of the Surgeon General, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Periodontal disease and adverse pregnancy outcomes. Oral Health in America: A Report of the Surgeon General. Washington, DC: 2000. Available from

5Office of the Surgeon General, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Oral Health in America: A Report of the Surgeon General. Washington, DC: Available from



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