Utah Oral Health Coalition Public Awareness Campaign

Healthy Mouth Healthy Life

Healthy Mouth Healthy Family

Many do not realize that poor oral health can be passed on to family members and friends in a number of ways.

The bacteria responsible for periodontal disease and dental decay are not present in the mouth of a newborn. They are shared from parents, siblings, and others, by various methods including drinking from the same cup, sharing toothbrushes, and even kissing. Good or bad oral hygiene habits are learned from role models, usually our parents. Also, the importance of going to the dentist is taught to children by their parents. Good oral hygiene practices learned as a child help prevent less dental problems over a lifetime and result in many being able to keep their teeth for their entire life.

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a sexually transmitted infection common in teens and young adults. HPV is usually spread through oral or physical sexual activity. Currently, there is no cure for the virus but some of the symptoms can be treated. Common health problems associated with HPV are cervical cancer and genital warts. It is extremely important to get vaccinated at a young age to prevent HPV.

Oral cancer is responsible for thousands of deaths each year. There are many risk factors that increase the chance of developing oral cancer: they include tobacco use (all forms), use of alcohol, and HPV (see above). Educating our children and setting an example of a healthy lifestyle will lessen the chance of someone you love getting oral cancer. Regular dental checkups with oral cancer screening will help detect oral cancer at an early stage so that it can hopefully be successfully treated. Common symptoms associated with oral cancer if not detected early are changes in the lips, tongue or lining of the mouth that last more then a few weeks, open sores and red or white patches around the mouth.

Oral herpes is an infection caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV), infecting the mouth, lips and gums. Herpes is contagious and can be transmitted to others through close personal contact, including kissing someone who is infected that has active sores. Oral herpes can cause painful sores, fever and other flu like symptoms.

Healthy Mouth

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