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Dental health this Halloween

Today is Halloween and many people like to dress up and go trick or treating and are given sweets as a treat. The supermarkets are over stocked with sweets on the aisles and sweets and chocolate tend to be the treat of choice to celebrate Halloween. However, eating too many sweet treats can lead to tooth decay and people should be mindful of this whilst trick or treating.

Tooth decay

Tooth decay is as a result of bacteria that enters a person’s mouth and makes acid, which leads to a hole in the tooth, known as a cavity.

In order to prevent tooth decay, it is necessary to brush teeth regularly and have a healthy diet and avoid eating too many sugary snacks and drinks. It is also important to attend the dentist for regular check ups or as and when directed by your dentist.

Problems of tooth decay

If tooth decay is undiagnosed, this can lead to the following problems:

  • Toothache
  • Swelling in the gums near a painful tooth
  • Abscesses.
  • Bad breath
  • Extraction of teeth.

The extraction of teeth can be a daunting experience and if a number of teeth require extraction this can cause anxiety, pain and suffering and in some cases a fear of attending the dentist. Therefore, it is important that people try and maintain a good level of oral hygiene to prevent problems.

Having poor oral hygiene has been reported [1] to link to a number of other health problems, such as:

  • Heart disease
  • Dementia
  • Diabetic complications
  • Respiratory infections
  • Premature birth and low birth weight
  • Osteoporosis
  • Alzheimer’s disease

Summary

Halloween can be the time that many people over indulge and eat a lot of sweets or chocolates in one sitting or over a period of time. Whilst people should not necessarily refrain from eating a few sweets or chocolates this Halloween, it is important to be mindful of your dental health to avoid problems. It is also important to be mindful of your dental health throughout the year and not just at Halloween. If you are celebrating Halloween, then it is probably best to try and eat sweets or chocolates in moderation.

[1] Mayo Clinic, what conditions may be linked to oral health?

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