Jamaican dental experts urge the public to keep an eye on oral health

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Dental experts in Jamaica have urged members of the public to take better care of their teeth and gums.

Dr Irving McKenzie, Director of Dental Health Services in the Ministry of Health, said that it was important for people to realise the importance of good oral health. Gum disease and tooth decay are common health problems in Jamaica and many people with these conditions are not receiving treatment, which is leading to them developing serious oral health problems.

Dr McKenzie also urged people to understand the potential dangers associated with gum disease and poor oral health; numerous studies have confirmed a link between gum disease and a higher risk of serious health conditions, including diabetes, heart disease and strokes.

Dr McKenzie urged members of the public to attend six monthly check-ups and keep an eye on developing symptoms; common symptoms associated with gingivitis include sore, swollen gums and bleeding from the gums. If left untreated, gingivitis can develop into periodontal disease, which is much harder to treat and can cause extensive damage.

In order to prevent gum disease, dental experts recommend brushing the teeth twice a day for two minutes each time and using mouthwash and dental floss on a regular basis; it is also important to visit the dentist every six to twelve months for a check-up.

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