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National Dental Hygiene Month: October 2004:Oral Health

National Dental Hygiene Month: October 2004:Oral Health


T h e D i a b e t e s E d u c a t o r Volume 30, Number 5 September/October 2004 Each October, the American Dental Hygienists' Association (ADHA), dental hygienists, and consumers celebrate National Dental Hygiene Month (NDHM). This year's theme is tobacco cessation (both smoking and spit to- bacco). With 3 in 4 oral cancers caused by tobacco use, tobacco cessation and early detection are key. This year close to 30 000 Americans will be diagnosed with oral cancer and more than 7200 will die from it, making it more common than leukemia and melanoma. Three out of four oral cancers are tobacco related, and more specifically, smoking continues to be the leading cause of prevent- able death in the U.S. According to the Journal of Dental Hygiene, currently only about one in four dental hygienists screen their patients for tobacco use. The ADHA wants to double that number by 2006. ADHA encourages dental hygienists across the nation to take action and fight this crisis with continued efforts to educate, build awareness, and enhance accessibility. In addition to building public awareness, ADHA supports dental hygienists across the country who are doing their
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