Oral health is essential to general health. One cannot be entirely healthy without good oral health. Good oral health means not only the absence of tooth decay, but also the absence of pain, bleeding gums, loose teeth, broken teeth, bad breath, red or white lesions, ulcers and abscesses. In addition to these, good oral health includes the absence or control of factors that affect the oral and dental tissues such as birth defects (cleft lip and palate), misaligned teeth, and certain diseases and conditions that contribute to poor oral health. Good oral health requires continual care of the mouth such as daily brushing and flossing, having regular dental visits to detect and prevent problems, eating nutritional foods while avoiding those that are high in sugar content, and using fluoride containing products. Fluoride, used in its various forms, (community fluoridated water, toothpaste, rinses, foams, gels and varnish) is the most effective source available in the prevention and control of tooth decay.
Creating a Healthier Missouri: A Statewide Oral Health Plan 2009 The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) is excited to present "Creating a Healthier Missouri: A Statewide Oral Health Plan 2009." The impact of oral health on overall health has been recognized in the health care environment yet many still suffer from oral disease. DHSS invites you to use this plan to address oral health in your community.