‘Gums the word’ for better health outcomes


Australians are being encouraged to review their oral health routines and ensure they have a dentist visit booked amidst new research[1] outlining the link between gum disease and Alzheimer’s and heart disease along with a range of other serious health problems.

This research is concerning with around 3 in every 10 adults in Australia found to have periodontal disease, which ranges from gum inflammation to loss of the tooth’s supportive structure and eventually, tooth loss[1].   The latest research suggests that if periodontal disease is not adequately treated, symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease may worsen[2].  Periodontal disease is also closely associated with other diseases including diabetes and cardiovascular disease, with which it shares common risk factors[3].

Bupa Dental Head Dentist, Cathryn Madden said it’s important people understand that good oral hygiene is about more than just a beautiful smile or a cavity-free mouth.

Bupa Australia Dental Head Dentist, Cathryn Madden

Brushing twice a day, flossing and visiting your friendly local dentist regularly are important healthcare activities that can help give you the best chance of living a long, happy and healthy life.

Bupa Australia Dental Head Dentist, Cathryn Madden

“Along with cleaning your teeth and gums, dentists carry out an oral cancer screening during check-ups to ensure any problems are picked up before they become major issues,” Dr Madden said.

This advice is being reinforced during Dental Health Week (1 - 7 August), an annual awareness campaign aimed at promoting better oral health practices.

“Dental Health Week is a fantastic reminder for all Australians to review their oral health habits and think about whether they have seen a dentist during the calendar year, and if they haven’t, to book one in for the near future.

“People should take the time to look at their diet and discuss with their families, their dentist or medical professional whether they might be consuming too much sugar which can lead to tooth decay and other mouth issues[4]… when it comes to a healthy mouth and body, you only get out what you put in!” said Dr Madden.

For more information on Dental Health Week visit here.


[1] https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/adj.12765

[2] https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fnagi.2022.912709/full

[3] https://fdiworlddental.org/gphp

[4] https://www.teeth.org.au/sugar