There are some population groups that are more at risk of oral and dental disease. This includes people living with mental illness, people with disability, people with complex medical needs and those with chronic conditions, including cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
Many individuals may not view oral health as important or be aware of the link between good oral health and general health. They may require the support of various health care providers in their oral health care.
It is important to discuss with your doctor/specialist any mouth, teeth or gum problems you have and any treatment a dental practitioner has advised you about.
For everyday messages on how to keep your mouth, teeth and gums healthy see
Healthy habits for a Healthy Mouth.
Regular dental check-ups are important to keep your teeth, gums and mouth healthy. Visit your dentist regularly as advised by your dental practitioner.
Your dental practitioner will discuss with you if you have any problems in your mouth and can give you advice on how to keep your mouth healthy.
It is important to advise your dental practitioner of all the medication you are taking.
Check to see if you are eligible for
free dental care in a NSW Public Dental Service.
Some Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Centres (ACCHS) provide dental care for their patients. Each ACCHS may have different eligibility criteria and appointment processes for their dental programs. Contact
your local ACCHS for more information.
Diabetes can increase the risk of dental decay, gum disease and dry mouth.
Managing your oral health will help control your diabetes.
High blood glucose levels increase your risk for dental decay and gum disease.
Diabetes and Oral Health.
There is a link between gum disease and an increased risk of developing heart disease.
Poor oral health increases the risk of a bacterial infection in the blood stream, which can affect the heart valves.
Bacteria in the mouth can increase the risk of a heart attack and can narrow blood vessels.
Heart disease and oral health.
Oral bacteria entering the bloodstream can increase the risk of complications such as inflammation of the inner lining of the heart. If your child, yourself or a family member has rheumatic heart disease it is highly important that you:
For more information see the
Fact sheet: Staying healthy after being diagnosed with acute rheumatic fever or rheumatic heart disease.
The effects of a stroke on the mouth include:
Stroke and oral health.
For information on how to take care of your oral health, please visit
Advice for people with disability.
A large number of people living with mental illness may be at more risk of dental disease due to:
A dry mouth may indicate you may not be producing enough saliva, increasing your risk of dental disease. Symptoms of a dry mouth include:
It is important to keep hydrated by drinking water throughout the day.
Chewing sugar-free gum can stimulate the flow of saliva or use a spray or moisteners to help lubricate the mouth.
For more advice talk to your dental practitioner.