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The Economist’s research division publishes EFP-commissioned report on financial and human cost of gum disease.

The report, Time to take gum disease seriously: The societal and economic impact of periodontitis, was published on June 14 and explains how more effective prevention of gum disease could save billions in healthcare costs and lead to healthier lives. The six countries included in the study are France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, and the UK.
As the report makes clear, periodontitis is largely preventable with good oral hygiene and regular dental check-ups. However, it shows how in Western Europe little progress has been made in the prevention and management of periodontitis, with prevalence remaining largely unchanged over the last 25 years. One key factor highlighted by the report is that many people visit a dentist only when they have a problem and avoid regular appointments because of the cost.
After providing evidence that professional management of periodontitis is cost-effective, the study argues that “publically covered dental care for periodontitis deserves a review from policy makers and commissioners Europe-wide”.