First and Last Name/s of Presenters

Paige LarkinFollow

Mentor/s

Professor Ignagni and Professor McLaughlin

Participation Type

Paper Talk

Abstract

While oral health is not always the first topic that comes into someone’s mind when thinking about optimal health of a person, it is in fact one aspect of our body that should be taken care of daily. Oral health should be a top priority because the mouth is the entry point to the digestive and respiratory systems. When there is harmful bacteria in the mouth due to poor dental hygiene and oral care, this harmful bacteria can travel elsewhere in the body such as the digestive or respiratory tracts and cause severe health problems (The Mayo Clinic, 2019). In fact, poor oral health is related to chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease (Peterson, Bourgeois, Ogawa, Estupinian-Day, & Ndiaye, 2003). In addition, when someone has poor oral health there is usually pain and uncomfortableness which can affect chewing, eating, smiling, and communication. This ultimately impacts people’s daily lives and well being (Peterson et al, 2003). Oral diseases also have a negative impact on attendance at school, and work, and restricts activities at home (Peterson et al., 2003). Examples of these common diseases include tooth decay, also known as dental caries or cavities, gum diseases, and even oral cancers (World Health Organization, 2018).

These diseases affect both advantaged and disadvantaged people in every country, and in fact, in 2016, oral diseases affected nearly half of the world’s population, which is approximately 3.58 billion people (World Health Organization, 2018). Clearly, it is a major public health problem worldwide, and for this reason it is important to examine and understand why some countries and populations do not have proper oral care or access to oral health services considering how important this topic is to our body and lives. In addition to understanding why many people do not have proper oral health, it is beneficial to look at the environmental impact of the field of dentistry. Most of the dental products that are used, such as toothbrushes and toothpaste tubes, are surprisingly non-recyclable. Because of this, a billion toothbrushes and a billion toothpaste tubes will be thrown out each year in the U.S. and end up in landfills or the oceans (Bite., 2019). Dental practices also contribute other environmental waste through the use of X-rays, mercury from silver amalgam fillings, disinfectants, biomedical waste and office disposables (Garla, 2012). The impact that the field of dentistry has on the environment is important to talk about because there is only one Earth, and humans are already pushing this planet to its limit’s. It needs to be taken care of so the future of the earth and further generations is not jeopardized.

College and Major available

Health Science

Course Name and Number, Professor Name

Honors Capstone HN 300, Professor Ignagni and Professor McLaughlin

Location

Digital Commons

Start Day/Time

5-5-2021 1:00 PM

End Day/Time

5-5-2021 4:00 PM

Students' Information

Paige Larkin

Health Science Major, Chemistry Minor, Honors Minor

Year of Graduation May 2021

Honorable mention, Most Creative 2021 award.

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May 5th, 1:00 PM May 5th, 4:00 PM

The Environmental Impact and Socioeconomic Differences Within the Global Field of Dentistry

Digital Commons

While oral health is not always the first topic that comes into someone’s mind when thinking about optimal health of a person, it is in fact one aspect of our body that should be taken care of daily. Oral health should be a top priority because the mouth is the entry point to the digestive and respiratory systems. When there is harmful bacteria in the mouth due to poor dental hygiene and oral care, this harmful bacteria can travel elsewhere in the body such as the digestive or respiratory tracts and cause severe health problems (The Mayo Clinic, 2019). In fact, poor oral health is related to chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease (Peterson, Bourgeois, Ogawa, Estupinian-Day, & Ndiaye, 2003). In addition, when someone has poor oral health there is usually pain and uncomfortableness which can affect chewing, eating, smiling, and communication. This ultimately impacts people’s daily lives and well being (Peterson et al, 2003). Oral diseases also have a negative impact on attendance at school, and work, and restricts activities at home (Peterson et al., 2003). Examples of these common diseases include tooth decay, also known as dental caries or cavities, gum diseases, and even oral cancers (World Health Organization, 2018).

These diseases affect both advantaged and disadvantaged people in every country, and in fact, in 2016, oral diseases affected nearly half of the world’s population, which is approximately 3.58 billion people (World Health Organization, 2018). Clearly, it is a major public health problem worldwide, and for this reason it is important to examine and understand why some countries and populations do not have proper oral care or access to oral health services considering how important this topic is to our body and lives. In addition to understanding why many people do not have proper oral health, it is beneficial to look at the environmental impact of the field of dentistry. Most of the dental products that are used, such as toothbrushes and toothpaste tubes, are surprisingly non-recyclable. Because of this, a billion toothbrushes and a billion toothpaste tubes will be thrown out each year in the U.S. and end up in landfills or the oceans (Bite., 2019). Dental practices also contribute other environmental waste through the use of X-rays, mercury from silver amalgam fillings, disinfectants, biomedical waste and office disposables (Garla, 2012). The impact that the field of dentistry has on the environment is important to talk about because there is only one Earth, and humans are already pushing this planet to its limit’s. It needs to be taken care of so the future of the earth and further generations is not jeopardized.

 

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