The Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), Ogun State branch, on Monday decried low awareness on oral hygiene in the country, describing the mouth as the gateway to the body system.
The body stated this during an awareness walk/talk to mark the 2017 World Oral Health Day with the theme “Live Mouth Smart”, held at the June 12 motor park, Panseke, Abeokuta.
Speaking with newsmen, the chairman of NMA Dental Committee, Dr Aliu Abu, said the walk was to create awareness among the populace, saying many Nigerians take oral health for granted.
He noted that many people do not seek dental check-up twice in a year until they had a worsening situation.
“Mouth is the gateway to the body. From the mouth, one can decipher some ailments such as diabetes, hypertension among others. It is however regrettable that there is still low awareness on oral health in Nigeria. Most of our people find it difficult to visit dental clinics until they started feeling severe pains,” Abu added.
Speaking similarly, the secretary of the committee, Dr Seyi Adu, said there are no statistics to show the number of people suffering from oral health diseases in the country, urging government to include oral health into the primary health care delivery.
Adu commended the National Assembly and the Federal Ministry of Health for working on the oral health policy that will take oral health messages to the grassroots.
He said, “Today is a world health oral day and it is been being celebrated all over the world on the 20th of March every year. We always have message for our people. The theme of this year is “Live Mouth Smart”. We want people to start making smart decision on their oral health.
“There are so many things that causes oral diseases, they are too much intake of sugary foods, too much of alcohol, cigarette intake causes a lot of oral cancer. We want people to start making smart decisions so that they can live their oral health smart.”
The association provided free dental check-up and talk for residents of the state.