By Lucky Isibor,
The Edo state government has been called upon to create a Directorate of Dental Health Care in the state Ministry of Health to strengthen oral health care in the state.
The call was made by the chairman, Nigerian Dental Association, NDA, Edo state chapter, Dr. Anthony Osaguona on Wednesday, March 20, 2019 while speaking at this year’s celebration of Oral Health Day.
Speaking at the 2019 Oral Health Day with the theme: Say Ahh- Act on Mouth Health, Dr. Osaguona enumerated some key oral health facts and made recommendations on how to tackle them.
According to him, “Oral health is one of the main pillars of overall health and well-being and most oral diseases share the same social determinants and some common risk factors with Non Communicable Diseases, NDCs.
“Globally, approximately 30% of people ages 65- 74 years have no natural teeth.
“Many general health conditions increase the risk of oral diseases , and problems in the mouth can also negatively impact the rest of the body.”
Enumerating the key oral health facts further, Dr. Osaguona added that “Oral conditions are the fourth most expensive health conditions to treat. In the United States alone, US$110 billion are spent yearly on oral healthcare. In the European Union, annual spending on oral healthcare was estimated at 79 billion in the years 2008- 2012, which is more than the money invested in the care of cancer and respiratory diseases.”
While advocating the adoption of multi-disciplinary and multi-stakeholder approach in addressing oral diseases, Dr. Osaguona said: “Governments must implement broader integrative policies that consider common risk factors and the root determinants of health through an oral health in all policies approach, to ensure equitable approaches to promoting better oral health and general health.”
While urging the people not to accept tooth loss as a natural course of ageing, Dr. Osaguona counselled, “practicing good oral hygiene habits, avoiding risk factors and having regular dental check ups can help people keep a healthy mouth through their life-course, which has a positive impact on their general health and well-being.”
He appealed to oral health professionals to educate patients on the positive implementations of their oral health while advocating the promotion and implementation of sugar- reduction policies as part of a healthy diet can positively influence oral health outcomes and decrease costs to the individual and governments.
In his remarks, the Edo state commissioner for Health, Dr. David Osifo urged the Edo state chapter of the Nigerian Dental Association, NDA, to reduce its request on the establishment of a Directorate of Dental Health Care in the Ministry of Health to writing and submit to the ministry for consideration.
The commissioner who was represented by Pharmacist Okonofua urged the NDA to continue to educate the public on the essence of oral hygiene.