As Nigeria, yesterday, joined the rest of the world to mark the 2013 World Oral Health Day, Lagos State Government and the Nigerian Dental Association, NDA, raised alarm that over 50 percent of Nigerians were at risk of heart-related diseases.
They called on the Federal Government to urgently implement the newly-formulated National Oral Health Policy aimed at improving oral healthcare in the country.
Special Adviser to Governor Babatunde Fashola on Public Health, Dr. Yewande Adeshina, spoke at the flag-off of the Lagos World Record Tooth-Brushing Challenge to mark the World Oral Health Day, on the theme Healthy Teeth for Healthy Life, 2020 Begins Now, at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere.
He said: “One of the unspoken complications of poor dental hygiene is heart disease.
“A lot of people do not know that if you do not take care of your teeth, if you don’t brush your teeth and visit the dentist at least once a year, you may be prone to getting a heart disease which may kill you.
“The mouth is actually one of the passages into the body from where we take nourishment and other things. We have a big gap between the educated and the non-educated members of our community in the importance of dental health.
“The way we brush our teeth has been trivialised to the point that over the years as we get older we build germs, we build bacteria and we build diseases in our mouths that may kill us without our knowledge.
“Due to this neglect, we are marking the world oral health day with the intention to sensitise Lagosians on the need to brush their teeth twice daily.
“Nigerians would understand that as they place much attention to their diet, oral hygiene mustn’t be abandoned.”
President of NDA, Dr. Olojede Olurotimi lamented the long neglect of oral health in the country, saying “if the policy is painstakingly implemented it will improve the oral health status of Nigerians citizens,” which he rated very low.
“The dental profession believes that good oral health is essential to general health and overall well-being of all,” he added.