Oral Health

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What is the full meaning of oral health and its importance to general health and well-being? It is stated in the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial research that oral health is integral to general health. According to the Namibian Dental Association, dentistry dates all the way back to the early Egyptian civilization. One major barrier to oral health is the access to insurance. Several American are without dental insurance and feel that they do not need to receive routine dental visits. Many theories exist and more studies are underway to explore the connection between good oral health and the overall health of a person. Oral Health is mostly affected in the greatest ethnic and racial disparity among children is seen between ages 2 – 4 and 6 – 8 in Mexican American and Black, Non-Hispanic children, Blacks, Non-Hispanics and Mexican Americans. Oral Health is essential to your health as the head is to the body. If you maintain good oral health, it can prevent other diseases such as gum disease which can cause periodontal and the loss of jaw bones. There are many other connections to your overall physical health due to bad oral health such as periodontal, cardiovascular, and diabetes. Oral health affects many races and age groups. In this paper, you will learn more of the benefits and reasons of why you should maintain good oral health.

Healthy People 2010 Oral Health
“Oral Health is an essential and integral component of health throughout life. No one can truly be healthy unless he or she is free from the burden and of oral health and craniofacial diseases and conditions.” (Excerpt from the report Healthy People 2010: Oral Health) Oral Health is inseparable to general health. It affects one’s self-esteem and quality of life. More specifically, it affects how we communicate, our ability to eat, our choice of foods, our social interactions at school and work, and how we sleep. As a nation, we need to know the importance of good oral health and how it may affect our overall health. Healthy People 2010 identified the most significant preventable threats to health and have established goals to increase the quality and the years of life as well as eliminate health disparities. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Healthy People 2010: Oral Health) History

According to Namibian Dental Association (2011), “it is believed that the oldest civilization that knew something of dentistry was Egypt (p.1).” After examination of exhumed bodies, researchers discovered that there were several wounds in the mouth, but no evidence of restoring lost teeth. However, dentistry did not become a profession until the nineteenth century. Prior to this time extractions were performed by barber-surgeons. The term “dentist” was taken from the French language. And it was used to describe tooth operators. In 1790 Lt. George Washington was known for having the first “dental foot engine” dentures designed by Dr. John Greenwood. These dentures are different because they were made of hippopotamus tusk instead of wood. Dr. John Greenwood was the son of first Native American dentist, Isaac Greenwood. Baltimore College of Dental Surgery was founded in 1840 in Maryland. This is the oldest dental school in the world. According to Aetna (2004), “African Americans were not accepted for training at any dental schools until 1867, when Harvard University initiated its first dental class and accepted Robert T. Freeman as its first black student (p.1)”. Then in 1881 Howard University’s dental college was founded in Washington, D.C. The first African American female dentist was Ida Gray. She received a doctor of dental surgery degree from the University of Michigan in 1890. In 1900 the Washington Society of Colored Dentists was founded in Washington, D.C. This was the first organization for black dentists. In 1907 the name was changed to the Robert T. Freeman Dental Society. Today, the organization has 7,000...
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