Expert demands higher profile for oral disease

Oral disease should be included in the UN’s list of non-communicable diseases.

That’s according to Jean-Luc Eiselé, executive director of the World Dental Federation (FDI).

He told a civil society hearing on non-communicable disease (NCDs) that the current list – which comprises cancer, diabetes and respiratory and cardiovascular diseases – should be extended.

All oral conditions share common risk factors with the other four major NCDs, including unhealthy diet (particularly high sugar consumption), tobacco, and harmful alcohol use.

Oral health professionals should be an integral part of the solution for prevention, early diagnosis and treatment.

Dr Eiselé made the call during a submission on behalf of the World Health Professions Alliance (WHPA) campaign on NCDs, launched in May in advance of the 64th World Health Assembly, warning of the global epidemic of NCDs.

His remarks were echoed later in the day at the panel ‘National and local solutions for NCD control and prevention’ with an intervention from the floor from Dr Habib Benzian, director of the NGO ‘Fit for School International’.

He reminded panellists that ‘the most common disease worldwide is dental caries, tooth decay. It has large impact on societies, on children, on each an every one of us… don’t forget oral diseases in the context of NCDs.’

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