Will Australian Doctors And Dentists Unite To Improve Our Nation’s Oral Health? Maybe Even That Isn’t Enough To Make A Difference…
An interesting article appeared on the Business Insider Australia website in the middle of last month, entitled “Australian Teeth Are Getting Worse And Doctors Need To Join Dentists In Fixing Them”. It’s a provocative title and an interesting read- you’ll find the article here.
The article makes reference to comments made by Dr Lesley Russell, a Visiting Fellow at the Australian Primary Health Care Research Institute, located right here in Canberra.
The article lists some alarming statistics about the state of Australia’s oral health- the rising prevalence of decay in youngsters, the fact that half of our population over the age of 65 has gum disease, and that 20% of over Australians have no teeth left at all.
Dr Russell was concerned that “Medicine and dentistry remain distinct practices that have never been treated the same way by the health care system, health insurance funds, public health professionals, policymakers and the public,” He refers to the fact that oral health and general health are closely linked, each affecting the other both positively and negatively.
Whilst we find that General Medical Practitioners and Specialists here in Canberra are extremely keen to work alongside us on individual patient cases, we agree that it’s time that our health system and our government recognised the impact that dental and oral health has on general health, and vice versa.
But even more, we think the solution is much bigger than uniting these two distinct branches of health.
We’ve spoken before of the devastating effect that our modern, carbohydrates-sugar-and-acidic diets have on our dental and general health. Our lifestyle choices, particularly around our food and beverage consumption, can be devastating to our dental. oral and general health. Until we, as Australians, are prepared to do something about that, we fear that tooth decay, gum disease, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, adverse pregnancy outcomes, obesity and general morbidity will become part of Australia’s reality in 2015 and beyond.
We believe in an Australia whose citizens embrace health, happiness, prosperity and mateship. We worry that we are instead experiencing an Australia that embraces sugary treats, acidic beverages, junk food and an inactive lifestyle.
Your dental and oral health will affect your general health. The foods and drinks you consume will affect both. As the new year has just begun, it seems to be a good time to make some important choices for yourself and your family, and maybe even your community.
Your dentist, your hygienist, your GP, your nutritionist and many other health professionals are all on your side and want to help you achieve your potential. Make careful choices about your diet, your exercise and your lifestyle. If what you’re doing isn’t working, ask for help. Make sure the next generation is making good choices, and be prepared to deliver some tough love when required.
We believe in an Australia whose citizens embrace health, happiness, prosperity and mateship. That’s what we wish for you and your loved ones as 2015 begins. If we can help you achieve your goals, please ask! We’re here to make life in Canberra, our own beautiful corner of Australian, just that little bit better!