GlaxoSmithKline hosts oral healthcare professional symposium

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) Consumer Healthcare recently hosted an oral healthcare professional symposium to mark the inauguration of GSK’s Oral Healthcare Innovation Centre in Weybridge, UK, currently the largest oral care centre for innovation in Europe. The symposium which was titled ‘Oral Healthcare: From Molecule to Market’ aimed to explore new therapies and research areas at the centre.

Leading oral healthcare scientists and clinicians attended the symposium which comprised keynote presentations on the future challenges of oral healthcare around the world, as well as a tour of the centres laboratories and facilities showcasing GSK’s commitment to advancing the science of oral healthcare to benefit the dental profession and the consumer.

‘We are excited to have hosted such an esteemed group of world leaders who, collectively, have published over 900 scientific articles and over 35 text books on oral science. We look forward to continuing to collaborate and build strategic relationships with these experts and their institutions to help improve oral healthcare around the globe,’ commented Dr. David Alexander, Director, Global Dental Professional Relations, GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare.

Future challenges of oral health globally
The keynote presentations were initiated by Dr. Deborah Greenspan, President of the International Association for Dental Research (IADR), who spoke on the continued need to understand oral diseases and the importance of providing care to those who suffer from them.

Professor David Williams, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Health & Life Sciences at the University of Southampton, discussed what biomedical research means to the future of oral health, including the importance of translational medicine and interdisciplinary research.

Professor Williams, who is also President-elect of the IADR, praised GSK’s support of dental science through annual sponsorship of the IADR Innovation in Oral Care Awards, in which competitive grants totalling $250,000 enable investigators to pursue innovative and novel research to develop new therapies for common oral conditions. One of the 2007 winners, Dr. Gordon Ramage of Glasgow University, was among the guests and in a short presentation highlighted the work that his team would otherwise not have been able to conduct. His novel approach is investigating tea tree oil effects on controlling fungal diseases in the mouth.

Ann Battrell, Chief Executive of the 35,000-member American Dental Hygienists’ Association, addressed ‘Researching a World of Dental Hygiene’ and focused on the increasing role that dental hygienists play in promoting oral health. She also shared some interesting insights into consumer perspectives on dental hygienists, namely that consumers see hygienists as the first line of defence and support in their oral health.

Professor Hu De-Yu, Chairman of the Department of Preventive Dentistry at the West China College of Stomatology, Sichuan University, finished the day’s keynote presentations with an insightful talk on ‘Oral Health in the World’s Most Populous Country – Trends and Challenges’. In the last twenty years, China has changed rapidly and this has had a huge impact on the oral health of the nation. With the increasing number of the nation’s older age groups retaining their teeth due to the improvements in oral health, but dental decay being very prevalent especially in children, there is a huge need for widespread use of oral healthcare products taken for granted in Western countries, such as toothbrushes and fluoride toothpastes.

‘This is the first of a series of events we plan to hold with external experts at GSK Weybridge to help advance the science of oral healthcare,’ said Dr. Alexander. ‘We are committed to delivering innovation to both consumers and the dental profession. Our recent innovations include Aquafresh ISO-Active, a new dimension in toothpaste, and Sensodyne Pronamel, a toothpaste that protects against acid erosion.’

Innovations in oral healthcare
GSK is committed to delivering innovation in oral healthcare, and recent innovations have shown significant value to the dental profession and consumers alike.

Aquafresh ISO-Active is a unique foaming gel that provides a new dimension in toothpaste. The product has been successfully launched in Europe in 2007 and was recently launched in the UK.

Sensodyne Pronamel is a daily toothpaste that helps protect against acid erosion of enamel, an increasingly prevalent condition that leads to worn teeth.

About GlaxoSmithKline
GlaxoSmithKline – one of the world’s leading research-based pharmaceutical and healthcare companies – is committed to improving the quality of human life by enabling people to do more, feel better, and live longer. For company information, visit GlaxoSmithKline at www.gsk.com and www.AquafreshScienceAcademy.com.

Aquafresh ISO-active and Sensodyne Pronamel are registered trademarks of the GlaxoSmithKline Group of Companies.

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