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Oral hygiene has become one of the most neglected areas in medicine. This can be attributed to the fact that people rush to the dentist only when they are in dire pain. On the contrary, regular check-ups for heart issues or other organ issues are often seen as a priority. However, the detriment in this behaviour is that oral health is in fact directly related to the general health and well-being of the individual. A healthy mouth serves as a window to the rest of the body as it serves as a clear indicator of impending health issues. Some examples of this statement is that- mouth lesions serve as an indicator of the onset of HIV/AIDS, while aphthous ulcers are generally manifested in patients suffering from Crohn?s disease. Similarly, bleeding gums or a pale discolouration to gums can be a warning sign for blood disorders while a yellow tint to the teeth can be an indicator to people about someone suffering from anorexia or bulimia. Apart from serving as an indicator for certain diseases, poor oral health can also determine the fate of future diseases. A mouth that is not hygienically maintained can easily contribute to infestation of bacteria or other infections being ingested into the internal system.

In order to stave off these issues as a consequence of poor oral hygiene, it is imperative that individuals regularly visit a dentist for an evaluation of their oral health. Dentists are medical practitioners who diagnose and treat oral and dental issues and enable the patients to develop and maintain a good and sound oral hygiene regimen. They not only clean teeth, thereby removing built up bacteria, but also perform surgeries like root canals and extractions, if the need arises.

Apart from health issues, dentists also perform alignment corrections through the use of retainers or braces in patients that have crooked teeth. These measures go a far way in helping patients to build their confidence.

The University of California, San Francisco Community Dental Clinic has been operating a student run dental clinic since 1993 which partners with community organisations to assist local underserved persons across the city by providing free oral health care. It particularly serves groups, including undocumented immigrants, political refugees, victims of domestic violence and human trafficking, as well as underserved children.


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