FDI makes global periodontal health a priority over the next three years

04 July 2017 Periodontics

FDI is increasing global awareness of periodontal health over the next three years through its Global Periodontal Health Project (GPHP). Proposed in 2015, the implementation of the GPHP was set in motion this this year to prioritize periodontal health at a national level through health promotion and disease prevention, and to integrate oral and periodontal health into policies addressing noncommunicable diseases.

What is periodontal disease?

Periodontal (gum) disease including gingivitis and periodontitis is a plaque biofilm-induced inflammatory condition affecting tooth-supporting tissues and bone, and it is among humanity’s most common diseases affecting up to 90% of the adult population worldwide.

90% of adults worldwide suffer from periodontal disease

Periodontal disease is also closely associated with noncommunicable diseases as they share common risk factors (unhealthy diet, tobacco use, excessive alcohol consumption). It represents a major global oral disease burden with significant social, economic and health-system impacts.

The roadmap to achieving global periodontal health

Periodontal health is essential to general health and key to securing a person’s quality of life and well-being through their life course. It is imperative that governments engage with Chief Dental Officers and Ministries of Health when developing national disease action plans to ensure an ‘oral health in all’ policy approach.

The GPHP seeks to reduce the burden of periodontal disease by raising awareness of its impact and engaging the public, oral health and other health professionals, educators, and policymakers in promoting periodontal health. Over the course of three years (2017–2019), the project is set to deliver a global awareness campaign (including specialized toolkits for target audiences), a white paper, a policy statement, and symposiums at the FDI World Dental Congress. It is a multi-partner project supported by EMS, GSK and P&G.

A timely discussion

One of the first deliverables of the GPHP will happen at this year’s World Oral Health Forum (WOHF) during the FDI World Dental Congress, which is dedicated to periodontal health. The three-hour programme includes a group of international panelists who will discuss three main issues, each followed by a debate:

1) Why is periodontal disease important?

  • Definition and classification (diagnosis)
  • Overview of aetiology and pathogenesis
  • Epidemiology and global burden
  • Shared risk factors with noncommunicable diseases
  • Relevant consequences for patients

2) Is periodontal disease preventable and/or treatable?

  • Prevention
  • Therapy

3) Current problems and recommended actions

  • Current problems and major challenges
  • Proposed recommendations, possible solutions, call for action and future perspectives
  • Action plan

The panel will be moderated by the GPHP Task Team members: Prof. Lijian Jin (chair), Prof. David Herrera, Prof. Joerg Meyle, and Prof. Stefan Renvert.

The WOHF will take place on 31 August (9:00–12:00) at the FDI Assembly and Forum Hall (North Convention Center) in IFEMA, Madrid. It is a platform for FDI members to explore matters not necessarily discussed in dental congresses; while engaging audiences who might not regularly attend dental events.

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