Dentists and doctors join forces to improve care
New outreach campaign - Perio & Family Doctors - has been launched
Collaboration between oral-health providers and family doctors can improve patients’ treatment wellbeing, and in certain cases even save lives, said the European Federation of Periodontology (EFP).
The closer the collaboration between dental and general practitioners, the bigger the improvement in their patients’ treatment standards, particularly in relation to serious chronic conditions such as diabetes, and cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, it added
Family doctors should be informed about gum diseases and their consequences, while oral health professionals should be made aware of the significance of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and their associated risk factors.
This groundbreaking campaign marks a giant leap forward
This lies at the core of the new outreach campaign Perio & Family Doctors, an initiative jointly developed by the EFP and WONCA Europe (European branch of the World Organisation of Family Doctors), and sponsored by Curasept, an EFP partner.
In 2022, 18 experts from the EFP and WONCA Europe examined the role of family physicians and the oral-health team and formulated a series of recommendations for both groups of clinicians. Their conclusions were published in a scientific consensus report published earlier this year in the EFP-edited Journal of Clinical Periodontology1.
“This groundbreaking campaign marks a giant leap forward in enlightening family doctors, periodontists, and other oral health providers about the potential for closer collaboration,” said Darko Bozic, EFP president.
“Together, we can proactively tackle and manage prevalent systemic health conditions that impact patients worldwide, such as cardiovascular disease (CVD), hypertension, obesity, diabetes, smoking, and hyperlipidaemia.
“Our campaign is also addressed to the general public, as patients should be aware of the advantages and benefits of good oral health.”
Shlomo Vinker, president of WONCA Europe, said: “In light of our recent findings, it is imperative to recognise that periodontitis transcends its localised origins in the oropharynx. Instead, it emerges as a condition intimately intertwined with broader systemic disease states.
“To address this paradigm shift, the collaboration between dentists and family doctors becomes paramount. Together, we must institute proactive strategies for the early identification of periodontitis within primary care centers and, conversely, of cardiovascular diseases and diabetes within dental settings.”
Professor Vinker added: “Strengthening the bond between oral health professionals and family doctors is instrumental not only in the early detection and management of NCDs but also in fostering healthier lifestyles. The development and evaluation of pathways for early case detection of periodontitis in family medicine practices and NCDs in dental practices marks the next frontier in our collective pursuit of comprehensive healthcare.”
The Perio & Family Doctors campaign materials include infographics and other digital content available at the EFP website at efp.org/periofamilydoctors/.
1Association between periodontal diseases and cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and respiratory
diseases: consensus report of the joint workshop by the EFP and WONCA Europe. https://doi.org/10.1111/jcpe.13807.