38 years ago, a dentist driven campaign started in Italy, with the aim of improving education of oral preventive measures among the general population. The idea was generated by a cooperation between a pharmaceutical company –Mentadent Unilever- and the leading Italian dental professional consortium –ANDI Associazione Nazionale Dentisti Italiani-.
The project started by defining October as the month of the prevention of oral diseases, both the ones affecting hard as well as soft tissues. The Mentadent Unilever Company prepared didactic material as well as tooth brushes, toothpaste, dental floss to be distributed among the general population, where as ANDI organized a group of over 10.000 dental practitioners who were willing to visit for free the patients who would adhere to the campaign. During the visit the importance of preventive measures was explained in detail to the patients. Over the years the results did arrive and for example the value of DMFT (Decayed Missing Filled Teeth) showed a dramatic improvement, supporting the relevance of this common effort.
The importance of oral prevention
The answer to the above question is a clearcut YES, because prevention pays at different levels. A patient centered therapeutical strategy must have its roots in prevention because avoiding or reducing the risk of pathology diminishes biologic and economic costs for the single individual. On the other hand, the possible reduction in the development of more important pathologies decreases the general medical costs for the population, a goal thrived by all actual governments.
Oral prevention is getting therefore more and more attention, also because the relationship between oral pathologies and general diseases is increasing constantly. Diabetes, as well as cardiovascular disease influence for example the development of periodontitis and the reverse is also true. A healthy mouth in a healthy body is not a slogan but a definite reality which we should all desire.
Oral prevention naturally starts in childhood and this is a way to teach young generations to be aware of their bodies and to learn to take care of them, loving them every day.
Oral prevention does make sense: will You think it’s worth considering a different attitude starting in October ?