Oral Health Basics

By: Nikki Nies

Original Image by Steven Depolo via Flickr
Original Image by Steven Depolo via Flickr

The medical word oral is often perceived to be related to only mouth and teeth conditions, however, the word oral should be expanded to include the gums, jawbone and supporting tissues.  Taking care of one’s oral health is important for optimal health and is not just about “pretty” teeth.  Not only does digestion start in the mouth, but also the oral cavity is susceptible to bacteria since it is one of the largest fountains for bacteria.  Oral health is pertinent to personal hygiene, reduces the likelihood of dental caries, gum diseases, bad breathe, burning mouth, oral cancer and thrush, which are fungal infections.

Unfortunately, women have to pay extra attention to the care of their oral cavity, since female hormones can increase the risk of cold sores and canker sores, dry mouth, change in taste and we have a higher risk in gum disease.

Although, basic care is perceived, it is easy to fall out of the rhythm of taking care of one’s self.  The care one takes now can impact their dental and health in the future.


  • Choose toothpaste containing fluoride and American Dental Association (ADA) seal Image
  • Try fluoridated water and mouth wash to prevent tooth decay
  • Use soft bristled brush using round and short back and forth strokes
  • Avoid sugary or starchy foods between meals
  • Even diet soda is at risk-can erode tooth enamel

Sources: http://www.healthypeople.gov/2020/LHI/HP2020_LHI_Oral_Health.pdf




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