MPs and dental experts to discuss UK’s dental health on World Oral Health Day
The findings of a major report on the State of Oral Health in Europe are to be debated on World Oral Health Day (12th September) in the UK Parliament. MPs and dental experts will gather at the Smiling Britain roundtable convened by Wrigley and GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) Consumer Healthcare to discuss the report, issued by The Platform for Better Oral Health in Europe.
The State of Oral Health report takes a comprehensive look at Europe’s dental health. Its findings show that, although there has been significant improvement over the last decade, more needs to be done to improve oral health and encourage good oral hygiene habits. Oral disease remains a significant public health burden, particularly in economically challenged areas. It is also an increasing economic burden; public spending on the treatment of oral disease across the EU is soon likely to exceed that of cancer, heart disease and stroke.
Professor Ken Eaton, President of the European Association of Dental Public Health and Chair of European Platform for Better Oral Health will lead the discussion on the report. He will be joined by experts including Dr Nigel Carter, Chief Executive at British Dental Health Foundation and dental hygienist, Juliette Reeves, for a wide-ranging discussion aimed at identifying how the priorities the report sets out can be applied by dental professionals in the UK.
To address the burden of oral disease, the report recommends that the following actions be considered by decision-makers across Europe:
- Making a commitment to improving oral health as part of EU policies by 2020;
- Addressing increasing oral health inequalities;
- Encouraging good practice sharing;
- Improving the data and knowledge base, bridging the research gap in oral health promotion and developing common methodologies in data collection processes;
- Supporting the development of the dental workforce in Europe.
Professor Ken Eaton, President of the European Association of Dental Public Health and Chair of European Platform for Better Oral Health, who will present the findings of the report at the event, said:
"Much needs to be done to improve oral health in Europe. I hope that the Platform for Better Oral Health in Europe's report will provide a catalyst for change. Apart from oral cancer, poor oral health rarely kills people directly. However, it causes a very significant deterioration in quality of life for millions of people, which is tragic as prevention of oral diseases is relatively simple."
Louisa Rowntree, Communications Manager for the Wrigley Oral Healthcare Programme said:
“Wrigley and GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare are committed to promoting good oral care across the UK. This important research by the Platform for Better Oral Health in Europe underlines that, despite the progress that has been made, there is still much that we could be doing to improve our oral health ”
Dr Nigel Carter, Chief Executive at British Dental Health Foundation, who will join the event to discuss how the report findings could be applied practically to the UK, said:
“Dental disease is totally preventable and yet still affects the majority of the UK population either through dental decay or gum disease. Mouth cancer is also the faster growing cancer in the UK having increased by 48% in the last 12 years. The present piloting of a new contract for NHS dentistry for the first time will recognise the important role of prevention and not just treatment of established disease. It is important that this initiative remains a priority for government in these economic times. Water fluoridation has a key role to play in reducing inequalities and the recently announced initiative on locally organised consultations on the extension of fluoridation is to be welcomed.”
Dental hygienist, Juliette Reeves, who will speak at the event about the oral hygiene elements of the report and the application of the findings, said:
“Although we have made significant improvement over the last decade in the caries rate among children in the EU and UK, this report highlights that oral disease still remains a significant public health burden, particularly in socio-economic deprived groups. With increasing prevalence rates of periodontal disease and oral cancer, introducing preventive initiatives, establishing oral hygiene routines and increasing access to services is paramount in these times of economic austerity.”
Photographs from the event will be made available, please email email@example.com
About the report
The State of Oral Health in Europe report was commissioned and published by The Platform for Better Oral Health in Europe, a joint initiative of the European Association of Dental Public Health (EADPH), the Association for Dental Education in Europe (ADEE), the Council of European Chief Dental Officers. The Platform is sponsored by the Wrigley Oral Healthcare Programme and GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare.
The report has gathered the most reliable data available on the prevalence of oral diseases in Europe and presents new evidence of the economic and social impact of poor oral health. The report also aims to contrast and benchmark good practice initiatives in oral health across Europe, in order to identify priorities and define a set of key recommendations to improve oral health in Europe. The following countries are part of the survey: UK, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Poland and Ireland.
A link to the full report will be available on the Platform for Better Oral Health in Europe website at: www.oralhealthplatform.eu/
Smiling Britain and the Platform for Better Oral Health in Europe
Smiling Britain is part of Smiling Europe - a pan European campaign designed to raise oral healthcare on the agenda of EU countries, and improve prevention of oral diseases at a national level. Smiling Europe supports the work of the Platform for Better Oral Health in Europe, who commissioned the report on the State of Oral Health in Europe. The Platform is sponsored by the Wrigley Oral Healthcare Programme and GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare.
The Platform for Better Oral Health in Europe (BOHEP) www.oralhealthplatform.eu is a multi-stakeholder group, composed of representatives of the main oral health players at European level. These include dental public health associations, dental universities and schools, specialists, and chief dental officers, all of whom came together to fill a gap they perceived in the oral health policy arena and to advocate for better prevention of oral diseases.
The platform is composed of the European Association for Dental Public Health (EADPH), the Association for Dental Education in Europe (ADEE) and the Council of European Chief Dental Officers (CECDO) and co-sponsored by Wrigley and GSK. It was officially launched in September 2011, one year after the Call to Action for Better Oral Health in Europe headed by several Members of the European Parliament and shared with Health Commissioner John Dalli.
Speakers at the Smiling Britain Roundtable
About Professor Ken Eaton, President of the European Association of Dental Public Health and Chair of European Platform for Better Oral Health
Professor Kenneth A.Eaton PhD, MSc, BDS, FFGDP(UK), MGDS RCS (Eng), LDS RCS (Eng), FFPH, FHEA, FICD, DHC worked for several years as a General Dental Practitioner and in the Community Dental Service. He has been: Director of the Royal Air Force School of Dental Hygiene and Clinical Adviser in Periodontology, Senior Dental Officer at the Department of Health (England), with responsibility for all aspects of Dental Education, Director of the National Centre for Continuing Education of Dentists and a Visiting Professor at a Dental School in Portugal.
He is currently on the United Kingdom’s specialist lists for Periodontology and Dental Public Health and is a Visiting Professor at the University College London, Eastman and King’s College London Dental Institutes and an Honorary Professor at the University of Kent, Editor of Oral Health and Dental Management, President of the European Association of Dental Public Health, Chair of the Platform for Better Oral Health in Europe and Adviser to the Council of European Chief Dental Officers.
He is a past President of the Education Research Group and Practice-Based Research Network of the International Association for Dental Research and Board Member of the Journal of Dental Research. He has published just under 300 scientific papers, abstracts and other publications and has spoken at meetings in 30 countries worldwide.
About Juliette Reeves, dental hygienist
Juliette Reeves is a dental hygienist and trained nutritionist with over thirty years experience. She writes regularly for the international dental press and is an editorial advisor to a number of dental journals.
Juliette has written and lectured internationally over the last twelve years on the systemic associations between nutrition and oral health. Her work is translated and published in Eastern Europe, Turkey, Poland, India and Iraq, in addition to the US and Asia Pacific. She is clinical director of Perio-Nutrition and regularly presents post graduate seminars around the country. Her main areas of interest are oral health of the renal patient and nutritional influences in periodontal disease and oral cancer.
About Dr Nigel Carter, Chief Executive of the British Dental Health Foundation
Chief Executive of the Foundation since 1997, Dr Carter was a previous Chairman and long term trustee of the Charity. He has a strong interest and experience in public health and health promotion, holistically across all areas. The Foundation's role as co-ordinator of National Smile Month and Mouth Cancer Action Month, Dr Carter works with Health Departments of all four UK countries as well as representatives of major health, cancer, dental and medical organisations at the highest level. As a trustee and Treasurer of the Royal Society of Public Health he has been involved in liaison and co-operation between the major public health bodies, RIPH, Faculty of Public Health and Register of Public Health Specialists.
The British Dental Health Foundation is an independent charity that along with its global arm, the International Dental Health Foundation, is dedicated to improving the oral health of the public by providing free and impartial dental advice, by running educational campaigns and by informing and influencing the public, profession and government on issues such as mouth cancer awareness and fluoridation.