The Dental Health Foundation in collaboration with the Oral Health Services Research Centre, Cork has published Oral Health in Ireland: A Handbook for Health Professionals (Second Edition) 2014. It provides updated evidence-based guidance on oral health promotion for health and allied health professionals.
This publication is in line with Healthy Ireland – A Framework for Improved Health and Wellbeing 2013 – 2025, the national framework for action to improve the health and wellbeing of our nation.
‘Based on international evidence, it outlines a new commitment to public health with a considerable emphasis on prevention, while at the same time advocating for stronger health systems where wellbeing is valued and supported at every level of society and is everyone’s responsibility’ - Leo Varadkar T.D.
This Second Edition provides updated evidence based guidance on oral health promotion for health and allied health professionals in the Republic of Ireland enabling them to promote and support an inclusive approach to addressing risk factors and preventing diseases while empowering people to take action to protect and be responsible for their own oral health. It updates the information contained in Oral Health in Ireland (1999) to reflect the changes in current scientific knowledge that have arisen over the last fifteen years.
Oral Health is an essential part of overall health and wellbeing. Oral disease is one of the most common diseases and remains a significant public health issue for many industrialised countries where expenditure on treatment often exceeds that for other diseases, including cancer, heart disease, stroke and dementia. In spite of considerable advances in preventive dentistry, the vast majority of the population will have experienced both dental decay and gum disease by their early twenties, in fact the most recent national survey of children's oral health found that approximately 42% of 5-year olds, 50% of 12-year olds and 75% of 15-year olds have experienced dental caries.
The vital role oral health plays in our daily lives, in terms of eating, speaking, smiling and socialising, is often overlooked but it is impossible to separate oral health from general health: behaviours that cause general disease are also implicated in oral disease. High sugar intake, for example, is linked to obesity, heart disease, diabetes and dental decay. Smoking is linked to cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, gum disease and cancer, including oral cancer.