World Oral Health Day: The link between oral health and overall health has never been clearer
Estimated reading time: 4-6 minutes
The importance of oral health – and its relation to overall health – has continued to garner attention across the world. This past month, the World Health Organization (WHO) proposed a resolution to reorient oral healthcare’s traditional curative approach to a preventative approach with risk identification for timely, comprehensive and inclusive care that ensures healthy living for broader populations . The resolution underscores that good oral health plays a key role in overall health and wellbeing, and includes an action plan that promotes and integrates disease prevention. It also includes guidance on how WHO Member States can integrate oral health within national policies to ensure good oral health for all. Philips has shared a similar viewpoint for years, and the resolution has now also been backed by various global organizations.
Philips is one of the only global health technology companies that’s uniquely positioned to deliver on holistic healthcare solutions across the entire continuum and fully committed to deliver on the quadruple aim.
Chief Medical Officer of Philips
“Philips is one of the only global health technology companies that’s uniquely positioned to deliver on holistic healthcare solutions across the entire continuum and fully committed to deliver on the quadruple aim,” said Jan Kimpen, Chief Medical Officer of Philips. “We are committed to fostering discussion on oral health, contributing to the understanding of the connections between oral health and overall health. We are actively supporting dental professionals in providing patients with the research, tools and knowledge they need to support their health.”
Today, more than a year into the pandemic, people are more attentive, aware and interested in their health and the role of preventative care than ever before. With this comes a greater responsibility for oral healthcare practitioners, industry leaders and researchers to meet patients’ needs and support their health goals.
Despite the surge of interest in preventative oral healthcare since the onset of the pandemic, people have been slow to return to the dental chair . A recent survey reports that 67% of Americans are worried about the negative long-term health consequences of delaying routine dental appointments .
While seeking treatment through digital health tools is not a replacement for essential, in-person appointments and treatment, it can play a pivotal role in improving patient experiences, addressing social disparities in health by expanding access to care, as well as improving long-term oral health outcomes. Telehealth tools also allow dental practitioners to personalize care while monitoring the progression of oral health conditions like gum disease, or follow up on post-treatment homecare.
“The pandemic has increased people’s interest in their health and further empowered them to proactively seek out ways to improve it,” said Deeptha Khanna, Chief Business Leader of Philips Personal Health. “Given the relationship between oral and overall health, maintaining good oral health not only ensures a healthy mouth, but plays an important role in prevention and control of chronic conditions, leading to a healthier life. We will continue to invest in solutions and innovations to support consumers goals in preventative care and oral health.”
Good oral health leads to benefits beyond a healthy mouth
People today want to be more in control of their own health and are more attuned to getting the support and information they need online, from apps, and from connected products. Yet there are gaps in both their knowledge and daily commitment to good oral hygiene, and they need help along the way. Depending on lifestage, patient’s oral health concerns can evolve from plaque removal and aesthetics to larger concerns around gum health and disease. Too often, by the time they begin thinking about gum health, it’s too late. Multiple studies have revealed linkages between periodontal diseases and certain systemic diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease and kidney disease .
Prevention is key. Along with professional deep cleaning, good daily brushing and interdental cleaning are critical. It’s also important for patients to have regular conversations with their dentist about oral health issues and the linkage to their overall health.
With the worldwide goal of improving the lives of 2.5 billion people a year by 2030, this is just one of the many ways Philips is committed to supporting people’s health across the health continuum for the long term.