According to World Health Organization (WHO) statistics for oral health in 2012, up to 90% of school children and nearly the entire adults’ population have dental cavities worldwide1. Globally, approximately 20% of middle-aged adults were reported to have severe periodontal diseases. Periodontal diseases are inflammatory conditions that were once thought to have manifestations localized to the oral cavity alone, and were therefore considered the concern of only dentists and other oral health professionals.
Emerging scientific evidence has changed this perception and numerous studies have shown strong correlation between deprived oral health with inflammation and oxidative damage throughout the body. Poor oral hygiene, tobacco use, alcohol abuse and unhealthy diet are some of the most common contributing factors that generate harmful free radicals known as reactive oxygen species (ROS). Imbalance between these ROS and the cell’s oxidant capacity creates oxidative stress, which in turn not only will instigate oral diseases but also will lead to multiple systemic disorders such as cancers, cardiovascular diseases and diabetes2,3. Antioxidants are the first line of defence to protect cellular components against oxidative damage. Therefore, an overall balance between production and removal of ROS is essential for maintaining holistic oral care and systemic health.
2. Mealey BL & Rose LF (2008) Diabetes Mellitus and Inflammatory Periodontal Diseases. Curr Opin Endocrinol Diabetes Obes, vol. 15, no. 2, pp. 135-41
3. Genco RJ and Williams RC (2010) Periodontal Disease and Overall Health: A Clinician’s Guide (statistics)