Does There Need to be a Face of Dentistry for Things to Change?

Author: Michael McCarthy
Michael McCarthy

Michael McCarthy

As the Chief Dental Geek, Michael McCarthy is the vision behind The Dental Geek blog and its purpose. Well known throughout the dental world, our seasoned geek Michael serves on several industry boards. Keep your eyes out for his popular articles and lists about all the most talked about topics in dentistry.
05.04.10 / 4:51 pm

Just about every disease state that has media coverage has a spokesperson or figurehead. Ironically, periodontal disease and oral cancer have no celebrity spokespeople. Yes, Brooke Shields can be found on TV touting her favorite toothpaste but that’s about it.

Periodontal disease has been designated as being a pandemic or an epidemic; yet, I feel like plantar warts might have more public visibility than periodontal disease.

What’s the solution to draw more attention to periodontal disease and oral cancer? Is it having a celebrity endorser on TV? Is it having a controversial website like www.TheTruth.com?

I also think that if periodontal disease presented itself like acne or baldness, much more public attention would be directed to the disease state.

Needless to say, efforts like the above-stated cost big bucks. Is there a dental company that will or should step up to foot the bill? Should a group of companies come forward? Should the ADA or AAP make this a priority issue?

Is the day coming when a coroner’s report will state the cause of death as periodontal disease?
Would appreciate your feedback and input.

Michael McCarthy

Michael McCarthy

As the Chief Dental Geek, Michael McCarthy is the vision behind The Dental Geek blog and its purpose. Well known throughout the dental world, our seasoned geek Michael serves on several industry boards. Keep your eyes out for his popular articles and lists about all the most talked about topics in dentistry.

13 responses to “Does There Need to be a Face of Dentistry for Things to Change?”

  1. There is not sufficient evidence yet that the systemic link between oral health and overall body health is strong enough to bring on traumatic illness. If the clinical data can be proven beyond the few speculative studies… then perhaps a groundswell can build to reach critical mass to where the general population can achieve the education necessary enough fro corporate America to do something. Until then, periodontal disease will remain a side-effect in a heavy smokers health patterns.

    Great Blog.
    I will return.

    MC

  2. There was a case earlier this year where gum disease in a mother was found to be the cause of her unborn child’s death.
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1247421/Mother-s-gum-disease-kills-unborn-child.html

    One reason perio problems might not get air time is because most toothpaste commercials already claim to fight plaque (one of the leading causes of periodontal disease). Most people probably think they are covered.

    Another reason might be that Acne and Baldness are very superficial problems. Whitening, which is also superficial, has become wildly popular because of celebrities and TV. I don’t think gum disease has a chance of finding a big name sponsor or being featured in a super bowl ad since we can’t see your gums and don’t really want to.

  3. I have a very good friend who was diagnosed years ago with beginning stages of periodontal disease. She did not go for the proper cleanings because she was very anxious and nervous about the process. Now, many years later, she is losing her teeth and at this point I believe her only option is to have the remaining teeth removed and then to be fitted with dentures. I feel so sad for anyone in this position. I believe if this disease was more visible in popular consumer publications/magazines, periodontal disease would get a lot more recognition and be better understood by the average person. These folks might even be inclined to do their research and get the help they need early. I think back to a sign my dentist had hanging in his office that said “Ignore Your Teeth and They Will Go Away.” I always thought that was very funny and now I realize how true it is.

  4. Im thinking about getting veneers when I return home from my deployment, and tricare prime doesn’t cover cosmetic dentistry. What kid of health insurance do I need to actually get the procedure done?

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