Originally published on the Kingstonist.com. Visit A Dentist! In honor of National Oral Health Month, this week I encourage you to visit a dentist. Did you know that each year 3,200 Canadians are diagnosed with oral cancer and 1,050 Canadians die from it? The low survival rate is attributed to late detection therefore staying up to date with dental exams is key. Poor oral health is also linked to many chronic conditions such as Diabetes, heart, and lung disease. In the case of Diabetes, it is proposed that high levels of sugar in saliva allow bacteria in the mouth to flourish. This is compounded by the fact that Diabetics are at risk for lowered resistance to infections. A study published in the Journal of Aging Research in 2011 found a 25-50% higher risk of death among elderly who did not see a dentist in the last 12 months. This week let’s focus on the importance of preventative health measures by giving some attention to our pearly whites.