Study finds increased oral health investment helps overall health and the economy

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Investing in oral health pays off in both the form of improved overall health outcomes and economic growth, according to a new World Economic Forum report.

The Economic Rationale for a Global Commitment to Invest in Oral Health—published in collaboration with the American Dental Association, Colgate-Palmolive Company and Henry Schein, Inc.—illustrates how a lack of investment in oral health globally has created a significant health crisis and placed an economic burden on many governments, businesses and individuals.

Almost half of the world’s population is impacted by oral diseases, with the number of cases growing faster than the population worldwide, according to the report. With plenty of research on the oral-systemic link, it’s well known that those who suffer from oral diseases are at higher risk of other severe illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes, stroke, cancer, respiratory diseases, and more.

“The evidence is overwhelmingly clear: an investment in oral health is an investment towards a productive workforce and a healthy society overall,” World Economic Forum Centre for Health and Healthcare head Shyam Bishen said. 

“Immediate action is needed from all sectors to address the growing burden of oral diseases.”

The report calls for greater investments in oral health, with a united public-private collaboration. 

While stressing the importance of a global commitment to invest in oral health, the report explores the role of various sectors in improving oral health. It also points to a need for governments to integrate oral health within public health insurance programs and benefits packages as part of universal health coverage policies; for businesses to expand coverage for oral healthcare services in employer-provided health insurance programs; multilateral organisations to include oral health in policy dialogues for strengthening health systems; and civil society organisations to invest in oral health activities as part of philanthropic support for in-country, health-systems strengthening.

This article was sourced from Dental Products Report.

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