Dr Madewa Adebajo, Medical Director, Alimosho General Hospital, Lagos, has called on Nigerians to ensure absolute care of their oral cavity, being the biggest pathway to the body, to prevent infectious diseases.
Adebajo made the call on Saturday at a programme organised by the Dental Departmental of the hospital to commemorate the World Oral Health Day.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the World Oral Health Day is celebrated every March 20 globally.
He said: “It is very imperative to make it a well celebrated event, especially with the pandemic of COVID-19, which major route of infection, is through the mouth.
“It is only significant that everyone should be enlightened on the need to care for the oral orifice, which is like a pathway to the alimentary canal.”
On COVID-19 and its spread, the medical director said that touching the face, nose or head was very risky at this period because of the closeness of the mouth to these organs.
According to him, it makes it an easy access to infect the body.
“The mouth is so close to the face, nose and head, it is very important that we do not touch our face nor head at this time, because COVID-19 thrives from droplets.
“Such could enter the mouth, foster on dirty oral habits and penetrate the entire body.
“Even worst still, the brain which shares proximity with the mouth, could be endangered by germs that come into the mouth.
“Basically, any infection from the mouth, could be very deadly to the brain, so the mouth should be cleaned at all times,” he said.
Also, Head, Dental Department of the hospital, Dr Rafiat Piponsuhu, said that a healthy mouth goes beyond visible smile, but one capable of maintaining overall health and quality of life.
Piponsuhu, also a Consultant Dentist, said that various ailments could be detected via the oral cavity.
“A swab of saliva can reveal a lot about the state of the human body.
“Bacteria is a dental plaque that forms on teeth surface of unclean teeth from negative heath issues.
“Most diseases can affect the oral cavity, a diabetic patient has twice risk of developing gum disease, which five episodes of tooth loss, are often associated with this.
“While 91 per cent of patients with heart disease have periodontitis or a gum disease from longstanding inflammation, could induce premature and low birth weight in pregnant women,” she said.
Piponsuhu said oral health was paramount, adding that smokers were at risk of contracting oral diseases than nonsmokers.
She, however, advised Nigerians to reduce their sugar intake, embrace good dietary habits and also brush their teeth and tongue regularly as well as biannual dental checkup.