When it comes to treating poor oral health – the costs are extraordinary. To avoid incurring such expenses, a recent European article concluded that over €100bn could be saved by working to prevent periodontitis by halting gingivitis in its tracks before it can spread and damage vital gum tissue leading to bone and tooth loss.
Just in the UK, eliminating gingivitis would save more than £21bn (€24.68bn) over a 10-year time period, even when you factor in the costs of professional intervention, as compared to continuing treating this disease the way it is now which would cost in excess of £47m (€54.63bn) over the same span of time.
Measuring the impact of gum disease
The study was commissioned from The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) by the European Federation of Periodontology (EFP). It is clear that gum disease needs to be taken seriously, which means examining the socioeconomic impact of gum disease. Also, acknowledging the ‘growing body of evidence’ associating periodontitis with other systemic diseases is also key. So while further research is needed, there is ‘sufficient evidence’ for more integrated care pathways to let patients know the risks of the disease.
The report makes four key recommendations:
- The cost-effectiveness of prevention, diagnosis, and management of periodontitis
- Integrating dental and general healthcare for best results
- Running campaigns to help society and individuals understand public health
- Dental treatments need to be made more affordable
The ‘misinterpreted’ disease
- Periodontitis as the sixth-most prevalent disease worldwide
- Around 743m individuals have severe periodontitis
- At least half the globe suffers from gingivitis (mild periodontitis)
- Treating periodontal disease costs £4.7bn per year just in the UK alone.
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Preventing Periodontitis Can Save Billions
This article was first published in Dentistry magazine:
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