A new report ‘Time to Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is: Addressing Inequalities in Oral Health’ looks at the need for a joined-up approach between policy, public health initiatives and clinical practice to address the challenges facing oral health.

Published by the European Federation of Periodontology (EFP), in collaboration with Economist Impact, the report investigates the impact of gum disease and tooth decay, and the urgent need to address existing inequalities.

Dr Nigel Carter, Chief Executive of the Oral Health Foundation, was part of the editorial team for the report and believes the shift in understanding oral diseases as preventable non-communicable diseases (NCDs) is crucial: “Neglecting the impact of oral health and its shared risk factors with other NCDs is a missed opportunity for comprehensive healthcare planning. Urgent action is needed to boost public awareness on the relationship between oral health and overall well-being”.

Presented by the EFP in Brussels, the report also expressed concerns that clinical care for tooth decay remains largely focused on a “repair approach”. Analysis found that decades of oral care focus has been placed on reactive, not preventive, measures. It also revealed limited preventive training and inadequate incentives for health professionals.

The report also laid bare the economic burden of oral disease. Direct global treatment costs due to the three most common oral conditions (tooth decay, severe gum disease, and severe tooth loss) were estimated at €330 billion yearly, representing around 5% of worldwide health expenditure.

Economist Impact modelled the cost savings associated with preventive strategies. They found that implementing preventive interventions could reduce rates of tooth decay by as much as 30% while substantially cutting costs.


Available at: https://www.dentalhealth.org/news/no-health-without-oral-health-new-report-sheds-light-on-the-true-impact-of-oral-disease