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The Impact of Climate Change on Oral Health

by Christine
The Impact of Climate Change on Oral Health
Woman Mouth And Broken Tongue With Cracks

Climate change is a pressing global issue with far-reaching consequences, affecting ecosystems, weather patterns, and human health. While the direct impacts of climate change on physical health are well-documented, the effects on oral health are often overlooked. This article explores the intricate relationship between climate change and oral health, shedding light on how environmental shifts can significantly influence dental well-being.

Water Scarcity and Oral Hygiene

One of the primary consequences of climate change is the alteration of precipitation patterns, leading to water scarcity in many regions. Limited access to clean water poses a serious threat to oral hygiene, as water is essential for maintaining proper dental health. Insufficient water supply hampers daily oral care practices such as brushing and flossing, increasing the risk of dental issues such as cavities, gum disease, and bad breath.

Rising Temperatures and Oral Health Challenges

Increasing global temperatures contribute to a rise in the prevalence of certain oral health issues. Higher temperatures can lead to dehydration, reducing saliva production. Saliva plays a crucial role in neutralizing acids, remineralizing teeth, and preventing bacterial growth in the mouth. Reduced saliva flow increases the likelihood of cavities, as well as other conditions like dry mouth and oral discomfort.

Extreme Weather Events and Dental Emergencies

The frequency and intensity of extreme weather events, such as hurricanes, floods, and wildfires, are on the rise due to climate change. These events can disrupt access to dental care, leading to a surge in dental emergencies. Displacement, damage to infrastructure, and compromised healthcare services during such events can result in delayed or inadequate treatment for oral health issues, exacerbating the overall impact on affected populations.

Rising Sea Levels Will Force Community Relocation

It seems a long way off that rising sea levels may affect dentists in seaside towns but how far ahead is it really? Many business owners located near to the ocean are already discussing the implications with safety management officers and also with their shareholders – companies that are planning ahead are already preferring factories and offices on higher ground.

Vector-Borne Diseases and Oral Health

Climate change influences the distribution and behavior of vectors like mosquitoes and ticks, expanding the geographical range of diseases such as Zika virus and Lyme disease. While these diseases primarily affect systemic health, they can also have oral manifestations. Understanding the link between vector-borne diseases and oral health is crucial for comprehensive healthcare strategies in regions susceptible to climate-induced changes in vector habitats.

Impact of Air Pollution on Oral Health

Climate change is closely tied to increased air pollution, which has detrimental effects on both general and oral health. Particulate matter and pollutants in the air can contribute to respiratory issues and aggravate existing oral health conditions. Individuals with conditions such as asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) may experience worsened oral health outcomes in polluted environments.

Food Security and Nutritional Impact on Oral Health
Changes in climate patterns affect agricultural productivity, leading to shifts in food availability and nutritional content. Poor nutrition can compromise oral health, as essential vitamins and minerals are necessary for maintaining healthy teeth and gums. Limited access to a diverse and nutritious diet can contribute to the development of oral health issues, including tooth decay and gum disease.

Community Vulnerability and Oral Health Disparities

Climate change exacerbates existing social and economic disparities, leaving vulnerable communities at a higher risk of oral health issues. Limited access to resources, healthcare facilities, and education about oral hygiene can create a cycle of poor dental health within marginalised populations. Addressing climate change and its associated impacts is crucial for promoting health equity and reducing oral health disparities. It makes sense that sustainable or eco-friendly dentistry should play its part in helping stem environmental degradation now and in the next century.

Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies

To mitigate the impact of climate change on oral health, a multifaceted approach is necessary. Implementing water conservation measures, improving access to clean water, and developing sustainable oral hygiene practices are essential steps. Additionally, adapting healthcare systems to withstand the challenges posed by extreme weather events and addressing the social determinants of health can contribute to a more resilient oral health infrastructure.

Scientists are Worried, Dentists are Worried

As climate change continues to reshape our planet, the implications for human health, including oral health, cannot be ignored. Understanding the intricate connections between environmental shifts and dental well-being is crucial for developing effective public health strategies. By addressing the challenges posed by climate change, we can work towards ensuring that everyone has access to adequate resources and healthcare services to maintain optimal oral health in a changing world.

Indigenous Caucasus Dentists Can Immigrate to Australia & The United Kingdom

Indigenous Caucasus Dentists Can Immigrate to Australia & The United Kingdom

The Caucasus is famous for many things – and Borat is not one of them. But now a new type of export is gaining momentum – medical labour. Nurses and doctors are going to Dubai and the Arab Emirates, whereas dentists and orthodontists are going to Australia and the United Kingdom.

As an early perspective, the following export product groups represent the highest dollar value in Ukrainian global shipments during 2020, at the 2-digit HTS code level. Also shown is the percentage share each export category represents in terms of overall exports from Ukraine.

Cereals: US$9.4 billion (19.1% of total exports)
Iron, steel: $7.7 billion (15.6%)
Animal/vegetable fats, oils, waxes: $5.8 billion (11.7%)
Ores, slag, ash: $4.4 billion (9%)
Electrical machinery, equipment: $2.5 billion (5.2%)
Machinery including computers: $1.9 billion (3.9%)
Oil seeds: $1.8 billion (3.7%)
Food industry waste, animal fodder: $1.6 billion (3.2%)
Wood: $1.4 billion (2.9%)
Articles of iron or steel: $877.8 million (1.8%)

Caucasus dentists have been studying hard and universities and places of education throughout the Caucasus region have been almost industrial in their churning out of highly professional and qualified medical staff. While they represent a tiny percentage Caucasus dentists are making us proud.

We here at Agrowebcac always have the big picture of the entire region. After all the Caucasus is one of the most linguistically and culturally diverse regions on Earth. The nation states that comprise the Caucasus today are the post-Soviet states Georgia (including Adjara and Abkhazia), Azerbaijan (including Nakhchivan), Armenia, and the Russian Federation.

We see it wider though. We see the Ukraine as one of us and Romania, and all of Russia. We even would like to have the people and land of Turkey if they were not so stubborn and caught up in their own identity, which is totally divided and why they have the military dictatorship of Erdogan.

Indeed, recently Italy’s Prime Minister Mario Draghi called Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan a “dictator” and criticised him for relegating European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen to a sofa during an official visit on Tuesday.

“I felt very sorry for the humiliation that European Commission President von der Leyen had to undergo,” Draghi said during a press conference after this event.

During the official visit in Ankara, Erdoğan offered European Council President Charles Michel a chair next to him, leaving a visibly irritated von der Leyen to sit on a nearby couch — an incident that has since gone viral online and been dubbed Sofagate.

One thing about Caucasus dentists is they’re a hardy bunch. And it’s a fact that delivering root canal therapy requires a tough dentist – one who is not afraid by the sight of blood or the sound of a patient screaming. Not that this happens in the Western countries as they’re all properly sedated via sleep therapy. The same could not always be said of our village dentists who would use unorthodox methods when insufficient anaesthesia was available. Part of the folklore of the Caucasus is such village practitioners, great for a laugh over home-made schnapps.

Of course Caucasus dentists and would-be dentists, you may have some questions of your future dentist employer and so the internet is the best way to contact a range of Australian or UK dentists and see how they respond. Or if you’re shy and introverted just check out their frequently asked questions page.

As an interesting twist, you may also decided to seek out other indigenous peoples who are into dentistry and orthodontics. For example there are a growing number of indigenous dentists in Australia and one of them, Dr Chris Bourke is known as Australia’s first Aboriginal dentist.

Dr Chris Bourke served in the ACT Legislative Assembly from 2011-2016 and held many Ministerial portfolios including Education, Children & Young People, Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Affairs, Disability, Corrections, Industrial Relation, Small Business, Arts, Veterans Affairs and Seniors.

Chris is a graduate of The University of Melbourne and the first Indigenous Australian dentist. He holds postgraduate qualifications in Public Health and Implant Dentistry and is currently completing a Master of Business Administration at the University of Canberra.

After an extensive career in public dentistry Chris moved to Canberra in 1993 where he ran a successful private dental practice for 16 years. His strong focus on community health led him to provide his clinical skills pro bono and policy making skills in many political and professional arenas.

As Strategic Programs Director with the Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association, Chris continues to advocate for improved access to culturally safe health care, including dental health, as well as for growth in the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health workforce. Chris says “oral health is fundamental to overall health, wellbeing and quality of life. A healthy mouth enables people to eat, speak and socialise without pain, discomfort or embarrassment”.

To coincide with dental health week, the Indigenous Dentists Association Australia have worked with the Australian Dental Association to produce some Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander relevant oral health promotion material.

We can learn a lot from what other countries are doing to advance the interests of their indigenous people.