Daily Home Care a Necessity for Dental Health
Are you doing something to keep your teeth healthy? Many people take simple care of their teeth, such as "brushing after each meal" and "refraining from eating sweets before bed."
For dental health, the Japan Dental Association recommends regular dental checkups, including "checking for tooth decay," "checking gum health," "brushing guidance," and "scaling" (*). To keep your mouth healthy throughout your life, both regular professional care by dentists and daily home care are paramount.
However, the number of patients who suffered from "gingivitis and periodontal diseases" in Japan in 2014 was approximately 3,115,000, an increase of more than 650,000 from the previous survey (**). Busy people today may have difficulty going to a dental clinic regularly to receive care.
- *:Source: Japan Dental Association website: https://www.jda.or.jp/go/check.html
- **:Source: 2014 Patient Survey conducted by the Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare (The Patient Survey is conducted every three years.)
Personalizing Dental Guidance with an IoT Smart Toothbrush
Recently, Fujitsu and Sunstar, known in Japan for its GUM brand, jointly launched cloud services for dental clinics. These advanced preventive dentistry services have been made possible by combining oral information of patients who visited dental clinics with daily toothbrushing information collected by Sunstar's IoT smart toothbrush "G・U・M PLAY."
G・U・M PLAY is a new-concept digital device with the world's first toothbrushing scoring function. Users need only attach a sensor-loaded attachment to a specialized toothbrush. By linking this attachment with a smartphone, users can record and analyze brushing frequency and time as well as learn correct brushing techniques. The new app visualizes the remaining residue on each tooth that has resulted from insufficient brushing based on the results of dental clinic examinations. Moreover, it enables users to practice the home care recommended by dental hygienists by scoring toothbrushing techniques and the time spent brushing each part.
To facilitate sharing with patients, Fujitsu provides a cloud service for dental clinics that stores X-rays, intra-oral photographs, periodontal disease examinations, and useful materials for patients as a "Dental Health File" in a Fujitsu data center cloud environment. This service was developed with Dr. Takashi Kumagai from the Hiyoshi Dental Clinic, an authority on preventive dentistry who has appeared on various TV programs. Dr. Kumagai also collaborated in supervising and using G・U・M PLAY before its release. Patients can check their dental information upon their first clinic visit, during treatment, after treatment, and after maintenance from their smartphones or PCs whenever they like, thus dramatically raising their oral care awareness.
By integrating Fujitsu's cloud service with Sunstar's G・U・M PLAY, dentists and dental hygienists can check brushing status as data not only when patients visit but also on a daily basis, enabling them to provide more personalized dental guidance. Patients can also learn how to brush their teeth correctly while checking on-screen the remaining residue that has resulted from insufficient brushing and the dental plaque level.
Extending Healthy Life Expectancy Starting from Preventive Dentistry
Sunstar and Fujitsu will introduce this new service to about 500 dental clinics by 2020, centered on "preventive dental clinics" that pursue preventive oral health care before the onset of periodontal disease or tooth decay. In addition, we will work to develop new products and services with many companies that support our activities and will also strive to spread preventive dentistry activities widely throughout society.
For almost 40 years, Fujitsu has worked in the healthcare field. In particular, our cloud services for dental clinics have been introduced to more than 50 preventive dental clinics. On the "Communication Gear" website that connects communities, citizens, and preventive dental clinics, Fujitsu will post information on clinics that provide our cloud services as well as on specific treatment processes and partner companies' activities.
We will continue to support the future of health care in collaboration with specialists in various medical fields in order to realize a "preventive society" that holds and manages all types of health information.
Recently, evidence suggesting that oral health affects various systemic diseases has been widely publicized. Why not take this opportunity to review your own self-care to ensure your health, starting from oral health?