Tokyo Declaration on Oral Health: Oral Health the Mainstream of Medicine

1st Annual Meeting of the International Society of Oral Care

18th Annual Meeting of the Japanese Society of Oral Care

Joint Congress, April 18th, 2021, Tokyo, Japan

We, the organizers of the 1st Annual Meeting of the International Society of Oral Care, reaffirm our commitment to strengthen the understanding of oral health. It has been increasingly known that oral care is significantly associated with the treatment outcomes in chronic diseases, such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and stroke. Evidence suggests that oral care affect substantially the general well-being, which further affects the quality of life. Thus, this declaration aims to recognize oral care as a treatment method that considerably plays a vital role in medicine and addresses the importance of oral health as a universal health priority.

Declaration was forwarded by the International Society of Oral Care (ISOC) and the Japanese Society of Oral Care (JSOC) and endorsed by all member of the societies. On April 18th, representing high-level government delegations have participated from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan, National Center for Global Health and Medicine, Asian Hospital Federation and World Health Organization. In addition, 26 Tokyo Embassies have reinforced the declaration (Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Embassy of the Republic of Belarus, Embassy of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Embassy of Burkina Faso, Embassy of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia, Embassy of Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, Embassy of the Republic of Kenya, Embassy of Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Embassy of the Republic of Malawi, Embassy of the Republic of Malta, Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania, Embassy of the Republic of Moldova, Embassy of Mongolia, Embassy of the Republic of Namibia, Embassy of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Embassy of the Russian Federation, Embassy of the Republic of Rwanda, Embassy of the Republic of South Africa, Embassy of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, Embassy of the Kingdom of Tonga, Embassy of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam and Embassy of the Republic of Zambia).

We welcome the vision and leadership of countries in building political sponsorship and momentum at the highest levels of government to address the global burden of oral health at the international level as well as locally. We, the nurses, dental hygienists, speech pathologists, pharmacists, care workers, dentists, doctors, and all other medical professionals, now pledge to work hand in hand with all people around the world, regardless of disease, age, gender, race, or nationality, to promote and improve oral care.

We declare that:

Oral health benefits include the ability to enjoy food, speak, smile, swallow, and express a wide range of emotions through facial expressions without any pain or discomfort.

Good oral health is essential for overall well-being and maintaining social relationships. Evidence suggests that good oral health helps older people to stay independent for longer.

For decades, oral diseases, such as periodontal disease and dental caries, remain highly prevalent globally.

Oral diseases incur substantial economic and societal burden due to treatment cost and loss of productive work hours as a consequence of oral discomfort.

Oral diseases affect an individual’s quality of life, causing difficulties with eating, sleeping, and socializing and causing financial losses due to treatments and time off work.

However, conditions that lead to poor oral health are almost entirely preventable. Prevention and early intervention are highly cost-effective ways to improve oral health among all socio- demographic groups.

Most importantly, oral diseases and highly prevalent general health conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, common cancers, depression, obesity, and injuries share a set of common risk factors. For example, poor diet, smoking, alcohol, work stress, poor living conditions, and lack of education.

Furthermore, evidence suggests direct biochemical associations between oral conditions and general health conditions. For example, links between periodontal disease and diabetes/ cardiovascular disease, the association between poor oral health and aspiration pneumonia among older people.

Hence, the management and the prevention of poor oral health should be a multi-sectoral effort. Oral health and general health should not be considered as separate entities. Oral health should be included in all mainstream interventions that lead to the overall well-being of the people.

All healthcare professionals (dentists, physicians, nurses, hygienists, counsellors, etc.), community workers, local governments, and health policymakers should work collaboratively in a multi-sectoral approach to achieve the health goal and well-being of the population.

All members of the International Society of Oral Care will make constant efforts to keep up with the up-to-date findings, maintain the highest medical standards, and provide the best possible oral care to our patients and society.

We aim to contribute to the health and well-being of people around the world through oral care.