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Oral Health for those with Severe Mental Illness

One of the LDC Confederation’s key policy calls relates to oral health and mental health. In our policy position we call for:

“Oral health assessments in an appropriate environment to be provided as standard to all those diagnosed with a mental health condition or substance misuse issue.”

It is very encouraging to see that the new guidance Improving the physical health of people living with severe mental illness:Guidance for integrated care systems includes strong elements around oral health and dental care. Indeed, of the 10 key actions, action 4 includes oral health advice and action 5 recommends that as much care as possible is provided in the same appointment and location. 

The guidance states in relation to oral health:

  • Oral health advice and brief interventions

“Enquire about oral health and signposting to a dental service for those not attending regular check-ups (in line with NICE guidance NG181). See Right to smile consensus statement for more information and Annex B for information on ‘Restart Smiling’, an oral health training resource for staff delivering physical health checks and/or supporting the physical health of people living with SMI.”

The LDC Confederation welcomes the new guidance for ICBs and looks forward to its implementation so that those with severe mental illness have better oral health outcomes.