We support people of all ages from babies to the elderly in maintaining oral functions throughout life and will contribute to the restoration, maintenance, and enhancement of personal health.


Function of the mouth

Do you recognize that the mouth provides a wide range of functions from the basic roles of breathing, eating, and swallowing to the high-level functions for human life of speaking and tasting food? If the role of the mouth were simply to exchange gas involving the uptake of oxygen into the blood and to increase nutrition via the blood, the mouth could be substituted by a respirator or intravenous drip. However, in the realistic consideration of human life, we believe that everyone would agree that the role of the mouth is significantly different from that of artificial devices.

Brain map by PenfieldIn recent years, rehabilitation of those with declining levels of brain activity due to disease has attracted increasing attention. There are infants with central nervous system diseases and the elderly with cerebral infarctions and dementia. Many people and their families are working hard in different ways for rehabilitation. We believe that the first step is to rehabilitate the functions of the mouth.

Eating by mouth stimulates the sensory and motor nerves concentrated in the oral cavity and further activates the complicated neural network for chewing and swallowing, which exists in the medulla oblongata of the brain stem. Thus, the biological activity of the brain induces superior brain activities. Oral care is often misunderstood as the cleaning of the teeth to prevent decay and periodontal disease, but it originally included not only the cleaning of the oral cavity but also functional care that included eating, swallowing, and articulation. In addition, from the perspective of a human being, we believe that it is very important for patients to communicate with society by sharing food and conversation.

Activities in the past and the future

Mainly with members of the Graduate School of Dentistry, Osaka University, volunteers from dental clinics, general hospitals, and facilities for the elderly have exchanged opinions and provided seminars on dysphagia for some time. We have now established a nonprofit organization to provide people regardless of profession with opportunities to discuss issues regarding dysphagia. We would like to contribute to society by providing appropriate services to those who need our support, as well as having individuals and corporations providing support join our organization. Our goal is to provide information, knowledge, and skills related to dysphagia and to develop appropriate specialists. Recently, the number of people from infants to the elderly in need of oral care who are eligible for support has increased. Under such circumstances and as a nonprofit organization, we will try our best to supply specialists that can support those individuals. We would appreciate your attention.

Mikihiko Kogo,
Representative for DHP

Support for oral care and swallowing treatment

Hospitals have many patients in need of oral care and swallowing treatment. However, such facilities are sometimes unable to respond to those needs because they have no dental department nor any experts in the treatment of swallowing disorders. The Dysphagia Support and Health Care Project responds to the shortage of such tangible factors and offers support for oral care and swallowing treatment.
Specifically, we provide the following services:
・The dispatch of speakers for in-hospital study meetings related to oral care and swallowing treatment
・Patient referrals to dental clinics specialized in oral care
・The dispatch of a dental team with knowledge of nutrition and swallowing (to join the Nutrition Support Team (NST)

When we dispatched a dental team with knowledge of swallowing and a speaker for a study meeting to a general hospital in Osaka, we received the following favorable feedback: “The unpleasant smell has decreased,” “The NST has become productive,” and “Now, we can meet the needs of patients with dysphagia.”

Support for oral care and swallowing assistance at nursing facilities

Oral care is important for the elderly and people with challenges. As you know, it is not only important and effective to prevent tooth decay and periodontal diseases but also to prevent pneumonia. Moreover, doctors at medical facilities often observe many patients with swallowing problems. Therefore, the determination to provide appropriate meal assistance and customized meal menus according to each resident directly influences the prevention of aspiration pneumonia. The Dysphagia Support and Health Care Project supports oral care and swallowing assistance by medical facilities.
Specifically, we provide the following services:
・Planning of study meetings related to oral care and dysphagia and the dispatch of speakers for those meetings
・The provision of oral care skills to prevent pneumonia
・The dispatch of advisors (swallowing specialists) to determine how to assist residents with meals and menus
・Respond to inquiries and questions about swallowing

At a facility (a nursing home in Osaka) where we actually provided support for swallowing treatment, we are seeing results and received the following feedback: “The staff has become interested in swallowing,” and “I am relieved because there is someone I can consult about swallowing.” We plan to examine the data on the frequency of pneumonia and fevers in the future.

Support for swallowing treatment during dental house calls

The need for dental house calls is increasing; accordingly, the number of dental clinics that provide home visits is increasing. For patients and caretakers, dentistry is a department associated most closely with eating. Therefore, dentists who make house calls often receive questions and requests related to swallowing. The Dysphagia Support and Health Care Project supports swallowing treatment during dental house calls in response to such requests and questions. In addition, we support dental clinics by offering the skills and knowledge required to treat swallowing disorders if they want to start house calls for such treatment.
Specifically, we provide the following services:
・Sponsorship of seminars and lectures on swallowing treatment
・Train and certify swallowing specialists and hygienists specialized in swallowing treatment
・Respond to inquiries and questions about swallowing

At dental clinics that make house calls to treat a swallowing disorder and offer the dual service of dental care and swallowing treatment, they meet the needs of in-home patients who want to eat by mouth. We are receiving more requests from in-home patients for such services by dental clinics because they can receive swallowing examinations.

Description of business

Board members

Mikihiko Kogo (Professor Emeritus at Osaka University)
Vice Chairperson
Takayoshi Sakai (Professor at Graduate School of Dentistry Osaka University)
Vice Chairperson
Takafumi Ogura (Director of Dentistry, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Sakai City Medical Center)
Executive Board Member
Kanji Nohara (Associate Professor at Graduate School of Dentistry Osaka University)
Executive Board Member
Shoichiro Ishii (Head of Oral Surgery, Kinki Central Hospital)
Koji Maeda (Representative Tax Accountant at Tax Accountants’ Corporation Hohaba)
Education Advisor
Kyoichi Nakano (Assistant to the Hospital Director at Higashisumiyoshi Morimoto Rehabilitation Hospital, Tachibanakai Co., Ltd.,)