Professor of Dental Public Health
University of Glasgow
The Community Oral Health Section of the Dental School in Glasgow has been working with members of the Scottish Learning Disabilities Observatory over the past couple of years. The Observatory aims to increase the visibility of people with learning disabilities within Scotland's routinely collected data and provide meaningful health intelligence for practitioners, policy makers and the wider community. It also aims to build an understanding of the causes of poor health and health inequalities experienced by people with learning disabilities and people with autism and thereby inform policy and practice to benefit these population groups.
We are currently involved in a number of oral health projects and the findings to-date suggest that there is a relatively low awareness of oral health and its determinants among non-dental health professionals working in the field. The work of the Observatory aims to increase the profile of oral health among relevant stakeholders.
The availability of the Open Wide resource to support daily oral care for adults with additional care needs is to be welcomed and will complement this awareness raising effort, to the benefit of adults with intellectual disabilities in Scotland.