Tag Archives: Foti Panagakos

Today is Give Kids a Smile Day!

Today is the 13th anniversary of the American Dental Association‘s Give Kids a Smile Day program. Aimed at raising awareness and helping to address the high level of oral disease in kids, especially in underserved communities, this program enables volunteers to provide free dental care to those in need and urges policymakers to increase funding for children’s oral health.

Dental caries, referred to as a “silent epidemic” by former U.S. Surgeon General David Satcher, are the cause of many otherwise preventable health issues. Investing in comprehensive oral health care for children will result in fewer instances of dental caries in adulthood. Studies have shown that increased funding for combating oral health conditions results in fewer emergency room visits and lower health care costs across the board.

To help highlight the importance of dental health research, we have partnered with Colgate-Palmolive and the Children’s Dental Health Project to create the fact sheet:

Investment in Research Improves Lives and Saves Money Facts about: Children’s Dental Health Research.ChildrensDentalHealthResearch

“Addressing preventable disease is the norm in today’s health care system. It is the most effective way to reduce costs and improve health. This is no different for oral disease. Working together, industry and its partners can enhance the prevention and treatment of oral disease through the development and testing of new treatments that will improve oral health, overall health and quality of life for all.” – Dr. Foti Panagakos, DMD, Ph.D, global director of scientific affairs, Colgate-Palmolive

The urgent need to address oral health in the US

By Foti Panagakos, DMD, PhD, global director of scientific affairs at Colgate-Palmolive

Panagakos_FotiOral health has been demonstrated to be associated with, and an important influencer of, overall health.  The role of prevention is critical to reducing, and eventually eliminating what the WHO has deemed an epidemic, caries or cavities in teeth.  This is the most prevalent disease among children, with more than 60% of 5 year olds having at least one cavity.  In addition, research over the last 25 years has shown that in patients who have a chronic disease, such as diabetes or cardiovascular disease, and concomitant serious gum or periodontal disease, the treatment of the oral disease will improve the control and management of the systemic chronic disease.

While these findings have stimulated action among the medical and dental communities to work collaboratively in identifying and treating oral disease in these very vulnerable patients, it is the fact that the oral disease is preventable in the first place which should take precedence in our management of this problem.  Developing and implementing preventative technologies is the solution to addressing both of these issues. Continue reading →