Oral Health Topics

The Massachusetts Dental Society (MDS) is dedicated to educating the public about the importance of oral health and the connection between a healthy mouth and overall well-being. Browse this page for trusted information on a wide variety of oral health topics produced by the MDS and the American Dental Association. 

Oral Health Is Overall Health

Oral Health and Overall Health
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Oral Health Is Overall Health
Oral Health and Overall Health

Your teeth and gums hold important clues to other health issues. Research shows that poor oral health can be a sign of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, premature births, and osteoporosis. Learn more about the association between your oral health and your overall well-being. 

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Fluoride and Fluoridation

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Fluoride and Fluoridation
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You may have heard of a good-for-your-teeth substance called fluoride, but do you know exactly what it is? Fluoride is a naturally-occurring mineral found in water sources across the globe. When swallowed or applied to the teeth, ­ fluoride helps prevent cavities in children and adults by making the outer surface of teeth more resistant to the acid attacks that cause tooth decay. Learn more about fluoride, its uses and benefits, and the importance of community water fluoridation. 

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Soft Drinks and Tooth Decay

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Soft Drinks and Tooth Decay
Image coming soon!The consequences of regular consumption of soft drinks on your dental health may be a little hard to swallow. Many school-aged children and teens today have come to consider drinking soda and other sugar-filled beverages to be a regular part of their daily routine. As a result, the dental community is seeing more evidence of tooth decay in young people. Soft drinks also provide large amounts of calories to kids, who already do not meet national dietary guidelines and are experiencing obesity in epidemic proportions.

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Tobacco and Vaping

Breaking the Smoking Habit
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Tobacco and Vaping
Breaking the Smoking Habit

You know that smoking is bad for your health, so it should be no surprise that e-cigarettes, vape pens, and other tobacco products are also harmful to your oral health.


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Marijuana

Marijuana
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Marijuana
Marijuana

With the legalization of medicinal and recreational marijuana in Massachusetts, it is important for dentists and their patients to discuss any cannabis use. Those who consume cannabis should be aware of the potential oral health impacts and various dental treatment considerations.

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Opioids and Pain Treatment

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Opioids and Pain Treatment
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Dentists have a responsibility to provide safe and effective pain relief for their patients while at the same time limiting the prescription of opioids to an appropriate amount. Dentists play a vital role in preventing the abuse and misuse of prescription medications.

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Mouthguards

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Mouthguards
Playing sports is often about winning and losing. But losing should not include your teeth. Just as helmets, shoulder pads, and knee pads are worn to protect against sports-related injuries, mouthguards—also called mouth protectors—are an equally important piece of protective gear.

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Oral Piercings

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Oral Piercings
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Can having a tongue, lip, or cheek piercing affect your oral health? Yes! Learn about the risks of oral piercings and the best ways to prevent infection and oral injuries from them.  

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Mouth Sores

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Mouth Sores
Image coming soon!They are annoying, painful, and embarrassing and can interfere with smiling, eating, and speaking. They affect millions of people every year and are caused by a number of different factors. While some mouth sores are more of a nuisance than anything else, others can be especially harmful to your dental health and overall health.

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Baby Oral Health

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Baby Oral Health
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As a parent, you know that your baby's health is the most important priority. By showing children at a very young age the importance of taking care of their teeth and gums every day, parents will be providing them with a lifetime of healthy smiles. Learn more about baby oral health including teething, thumbsucking and pacifier use, baby bottle tooth decay, brushing and flossing, and first dental visits. 

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The Dental FLOSSophy

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The Dental FLOSSophy
Image coming soon!Brushing and cleanings alone aren’t enough to keep cavities at bay. Both parents and children alike should be aware that there’s one other habit that should be added to children's oral health regimen: dental flossing.

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