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Dental Health Week 2023 – A Wholistic Approach

From the Desk of Dr John Wells- The 7th of August marks the beginning of Dental Health Week in Australia, with an emphasis on the mouth and the whole-body connection. This has always intrigued me, and it is an issue that I always address in one of our regular letters to my patients which we send when they have not been in for a while for their regular check-ups and cleans.

I was accused once by a patient of scaremongering when she received a letter that focused on diseases related to oral health issues. The patient did not want to be on our patient list to receive this particular letter, so I made her “Inactive” on our files. She could then “Reactivate” herself whenever she felt the need to visit. We would then “Inactivate” her again after her visits so as not to upset her with our letters. 

I like to ensure that all of our active patients get regular letters reminding them to visit for regular check-ups and cleans. They are just too important to miss.

The timing between “Recalls” as they are sometimes called, can range from 3 months to one year in our office. I don’t like calling them “Recalls” as it sounds like something damaged that is being recalled for correction, and instead, we call them Continuing Care letters.

During this Dental Health Week, dentists around Australia are increasing awareness around six conditions in particular that have a direct link with diseases in the mouth. These are:

  1. Heart Disease
  2. Diabetes
  3. Alzheimer’s Disease
  4. Adverse Pregnancy Outcomes
  5. Lung Conditions
  6. Inflammatory Bowel Disease

At this point, I would like to point out that there are many other diseases associated will poor oral health.

Even someone who does not have any teeth-related needs should have their gums and mouth checked for adverse issues that could be affecting their health. We encourage anyone who has not been to the dentist for a regular check-up and cleaning for some time to make this an urgent item on your To-Do list.

Good health to all!


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