FUOYE and FMC, Ido Ekiti Celebrate World Oral Health.

- Expert cautions on oral negligence.

Health is wealth. This age-long aphorism came to the fore again when a team of medical specialists from the Dental and Oral Surgical Department of Federal Medical Centre Ido Ekiti presented a seminar on dental health issues. The seminar, held to celebrate World Oral Health Programme across the world, took place at the Federal University, Oye-Ekiti main auditorium.

 Speaking at the seminar Dr. Akinwale Akinbade of the Federal Medical Centre Ido Ekiti, encouraged people not to hesitate to seek medical assistance on noticing any changes in their mouth.

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Acting Dean Student Affairs, Dr O. O. Fasoranti (right), Guest Speaker, Dr. Akinwale Akinbade (centre) and another guest at the seminar.

Delivering his speech on the topic,  ‘Celebrating Healthy Smiles’, Dr. Akinwale said there would be no healthy smiles anywhere if there is no healthy mouth. He then pointed out that a healthy mouth can only be achieved through proper oral health. He said oral health as defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) means “being free from chronic mouth and facial pain, oral and throat cancer, oral sores, birth defects such as cleft lip and palate, periodontal (gum) disease, tooth decay and tooth loss, and other diseases and disorders that affect the oral cavity and limit smiles”. Risk factors for oral diseases include unhealthy diet, tobacco use, harmful alcohol use, and poor oral hygiene.

 

Dr. Akinbade lamented that quite a good percentage of school children and adults have dental cavities, while severe periodontal diseases which may result in tooth loss also abound.

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A cross section of the medical team and members of the FUOYE community at the seminar.

 Oral Health, the guest speaker disclosed, is connected to the general health of an individual as pathogenic bacteria may grow out of control to cause a serious gum infection which can serve as an entry point into the blood stream.

According to Dr. Akinbade, oral diseases can cause or degenerate into any of the following health problems:

(i)  Pregnant women with gum diseases are at an increased risk of premature birth and babies born with infection in the mouth.

(ii) Oral diseases can disrupt blood sugar levels and make diabetes hard to control.

(iii) The mouth may serve as a direct link for bacterial contamination of lungs with subsequent development of bacterial pneumonia.   

Oral health diseases, the expert said, may also result in jaw swelling, tooth discolouration, tooth loss or facial trauma. In the short run, people living with untreated oral and dental diseases can experience severe pain, loss of sleep, inability to eat certain food, time off work or school and embarrassment about their appearance. All these, Dr. Akinbade warned the audience not to take any oral health problem with levity but should consult a dentist immediately a symptom is observed. He said, to ensure effective oral health, one should visit his /her dental team at least twice a year as to clean one’s teeth and check for cavities.

In her short speech, Miss Cecilia Ngene of Dental Therapy disclosed that heavy consumption of sugary foods as well as too much snacks in-between meals could lead to tooth decay. She therefore admonished her audience to avoid these so as to prevent the sugary environment in which oral bacteria thrive and produce acid that forms plaques.

Miss Ngene explaining proper brushing method.

According to her, drinking plenty of water, especially with certain medicines helps in keeping the activities of the oral bacteria down. She noted that some medicines can decrease the amount of saliva in ones mouth and since the bacteria that fight tooth decay are found in the saliva, this may put one at great risk of tooth decay.

 

 She went further to demonstrate, with a plastic set of teeth, the proper way to brush teeth with the  brush held at an angle of 45 to the mouth while brushing should never be horizontal but a vertical up and down, in and out movement. Miss Ngene advised that toothbrush should be use only for a period of 3months and then be discarded for a new one.

 

On a final note, she advised that people brush twice a day with tooth paste or mouth wash that contains fluoride; a substance that helps make the teeth harder and stronger. She emphasized that brushing must be after and not before a meal.

Answering question on the causes of mouth odour (halitosis), Dr. Akinbade revealed that halitosis may either be as a result of poor oral hygiene or a complication from another health problem such as lung disease. The Vice Chancellor, Prof. Isaac Asuzu, was represented at the occasion by the Acting Dean of Student Affairs, Dr. O.O Fasoranti who appreciated the medical team for their informative and educative seminar and thanked the staff and students of FUOYE for their attendance.

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A cross-section of staff at the event.

A free dental treatment was offered by the FMC team of dentists led by Dr. Akinwale Akinbade. Others in the team were Dr. Ajayi, Dr. K.O. Ojo and a host of other medical staff from the dental surgery department of FMC Ido.

-      Godfrey Bakji and Olaiya Arise.

 

 

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