Oral health initiative in BGM

Heart attacks, strokes, and diabetes, along with psychological ailments, are the main reasons for high medical costs in most businesses. However, there is little awareness that periodontitis is one of the diseases that correlates with almost all others.

Starting in 2019, the Foundation will support the "MUNDGESUNDHEIT IM BGM" initiative of the German bKV Service. The aim is to promote and establish BGF oral health.

With the existing network of prevention-oriented dentists, human doctors and university hospitals and many other supporters, the Foundation has appropriate contacts throughout Germany. The regional implementation of the BGF measure "Oral Health Day" can thus take place almost anywhere in Germany at companies > 1,000 employees.

Goal of the Oral Health Initiative in BGM:

The goal of the initiative is as ambitious as it is simple: to improve the oral health of all employees in Germany. To this end, we would first like to demonstrate the great relevance of the topic for employers.
Oral health must be taken into account as part of an occupational prevention strategy. Diseases in the oral cavity can have a negative impact on overall health. The high prevalence of periodontitis among employees in Germany: according to the fifth German Oral Health Study (DMS V) of August 2015, more than 43.4% of the adult population has moderate periodontitis and at least 8.2% have severe periodontal disease. However, according to the 2018 Barmer Report, of these approximately 20 million affected patients with periodontal disease, only about 1 million are actually treated. This must be changed urgently.

Periodontitis: Much more than just oral health

The negative effects of periodontitis with regard to arteriosclerosis and cardiovascular diseases, as well as the very unfavorable interactions with diabetes mellitus, and other highly prevalent widespread diseases, has now been proven in many studies, yet is hardly known in the general population.

Particularly in the case of high-risk patients from the fields of vascular and cardiac diseases, rheumatology, diabetes and gynecology, a great deal of attention must be paid to early interdisciplinary diagnostics in the interests of prevention. 
For example, periodontitis increases the risk of stroke by a factor of 7, heart attack by a factor of 2-3, diabetes by a factor of 6, premature birth by a factor of 7, arthritis by a factor of 6, and rheumatism by a factor of 6.

Individual prophylaxis in the dentist's office, which is currently the only prevention program available for adults to inform and educate about these relationships, is obviously not effective. Approximately 60 percent of Germans do not know where periodontitis comes from and what risk factors are associated with it. Simple questions about proper oral hygiene often cannot be answered. In particular, risk groups such as diabetics and pregnant women are often poorly informed. The interactions with other diseases are also virtually unknown.

The consequences of periodontitis can be a decline in the quality of life of those affected, as well as lengthy treatments and thus also medical costs for the employer. Despite its high relevance and serious consequences for employers, oral health has simply not been included in occupational health management to date.

With the Oral Health in Workplace Health Management initiative, we aim to improve the prevention but also the treatment of periodontal diseases as one of the key challenges for effective workplace health management across the various medical disciplines.

In this respect, an employer-initiated preventive measure on the subject of oral health is also an inclusion of dentistry in all general preventive considerations that are already located in company health management.
Preventive measures in dentistry have a health-promoting effect and positively influence the quality of life. Dentistry is therefore able to influence certain risks and thus have a positive effect on overall health at the same time.
The aim of the initiative is to ensure that dentistry is taken into account in all company preventive health measures. This is the only way to ensure a comprehensive and lifelong preventive approach.

The opportunities of workplace prevention: The workplace as the basis for healthy living

Occupational health management takes into account the importance of the workplace, as a central place for a healthy life. The associated opportunities for greater dental and oral health awareness have so far been completely disregarded. Yet workplace prevention provides an excellent platform for supplementing conventional prevention services. The large number of people that can be reached so easily also includes the possibility for the emergence of health equity.


Low-threshold prevention measures - towards health

Low-threshold prevention measures such as information events at the workplace and small groups with workshop character can be embedded almost seamlessly into everyday work. Using modern testing methods, employees can be sensitized to the maximum extent possible on Oral Health Day in compliance with data protection regulations and receive their results personally on the same day with an individual referral letter for the general dentist. To ensure that the sensitization and education measures in the company can be followed by individual therapy at the family dentist and that the Oral Health Day does not remain a "toothless tiger", it is important that the financing of the treatment costs is ensured. Here again, the employer can help and take the initiative. With the company health insurance (bKV), he opens up access to dental prevention and therapy for his employees, which without his initiative could not take place for cost reasons. However, the optimal bKV offers insurance coverage not only for dental prostheses, but also pays for professional dental cleanings and secondary prophylaxis. This will reduce the days of incapacity to work, in the case of dental and especially periodontal diseases. The insurance premiums will quickly pay for themselves with this holistic health approach for the employer.



What is Oral Health Day and what are its objectives?

The Oral Health Day serves to make health promotion in the company tangible and alive. Your employees have the opportunity to learn more about oral health topics, tooth preservation and dental prostheses. In addition, personal consultations with dentists and dental hygienists offer the opportunity to address the individual needs of the employee and provide impetus for action and implementation. The aim of an oral health day is to motivate employees to take responsibility for their own active oral hygiene and to anchor this awareness sustainably with regard to general health.  

What happens on oral health day?

In order to motivate employees and take a caring approach to their own oral health, it is important to focus on employees' oral health needs and questions. Impetus for raising awareness of healthier oral hygiene is ensured by informative and experience-centered short lectures by dentists and university professors (approx. 45 min.), which are intended to arouse enthusiasm for a more conscious approach to oral and dental health. Their primary purpose is to get your employees excited about the topic of oral health. In addition, they motivate participants to think about their own oral health and make a difference in their lives. To this end, we convey the latest scientific and relevant knowledge of dentistry in an exciting and engaging way. 

With active workshops (approx. 25 min.), awareness of the correct brushing techniques and interdental space care in home oral hygiene is raised and made tangible for the employee. Here your employees have the opportunity to ask questions that they would not dare to ask at the family dentist. Your employees also receive very specific recommendations on oral health measures that can be easily integrated into their private daily routine. Many of your employees would never try such offers on their own initiative. Due to the low-threshold nature of the measures, in many cases we even manage to appeal to the "dental and oral health slackers" and inspire them to continue the knowledge gained in the future.

The rapid test, which makes active periodontal inflammation visible to your employees, is undoubtedly the highlight at the Oral Health Day. Highly sensitive biomarker technology is used here for the health of your employees by means of a saliva test and immediate test result. In compliance with data protection and complete anonymity, your employees will have the opportunity to be tested and receive the result immediately. The evaluation is explained directly by a dentist in a personal conversation and the individual "referral letter" for the family dentist enables your employee that the individual prevention recommendation or therapy can also be implemented. 

The Oral Health Days Special

The limiting factor of oral health is almost always the affordability for the individual employee. Our practical tip: Announce the introduction of the employer-financed company health insurance " bKV-ZahnSpezial" on the Oral Health Day. We know from professional experience that this will far exceed the expected success and will be talked about positively in the company for a long time to come. 
With the appropriate bKV, you as an employer enable both private prevention and, if necessary, therapy. With the bKV-ZahnSpezial, the knowledge gained at the Oral Health Day can be implemented by your employees. If then for example 2-4 x p.a. a professional tooth cleaning or even dental prosthesis becomes necessary, this can also take place. Ideally, the relatives will also have access to your new bKV (at their own expense, of course) without a health check. This makes your oral health day another highlight - this time at your employee's home. In this way, your employee's partners and children also participate in the knowledge gained and the affordability.

"My employer gives me a smile" takes on a whole new dimension and your employees' appreciation is assured.

The costs of an oral health day depend on the number of participating employees. In order for the organizational and financial effort for the dental speakers and dental hygienists to pay off, between 100 and 150 employees should participate in the health day. Our recommendation here is: Let the employees apply for the oral health day - the interest will be greater than they suspect.

Use the form below to apply for an oral health day.


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