Why oral health?
One world one smile’s main field of action is in Tanzania, an East African country with extremely high percentage of AIDS, diabetes and child mortality.
It is widely known in the “occidental world” that poor oral health is a major risk factor with these two diseases. When a young kid – or an adult for that matter – is HIV positive the immune system is totally depleted. A dental infection will drain the remanent reserves of the patient’s immune system and will allow for AIDS to take over. Therefore, dental care has to become a major focus.
Also, the untreated diabetic patient has no ability to heal wounds, aside from also having a depleted immunity. Again, poor dental health destabilizes diabetes making it worse and therefore allowing it to become more aggressive.
These two major health concerns show us everyday that due to the lack of information in countries like Tanzania, oral health awareness should be a major priority.
Obviously, avoiding and treating decays is always important and so is dental hygiene education, but the impact that oral health can have on overall live span should not be underestimated.