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Oral health
WHO/Julie Pudlowski
? Credits

Oral health

    Overview

    Oral health is a key indicator of overall health, well-being and quality of life. It encompasses a range of diseases and conditions that include dental caries, Periodontal disease, Tooth loss, Oral cancer, Oral manifestations of HIV infection, Oro-dental trauma, Noma and birth defects such as cleft lip and palate. The Global Burden of Disease Study 2017 estimated that oral diseases affect 3.5 billion people worldwide, with untreated dental caries being among the most prevalent noncommunicable diseases. According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer, the incidence of oral cancer was within the top three of all cancers in some Asian-Pacific countries in 2018.

    66顺彩票appMost oral diseases and conditions share modifiable risk factors with the leading NCDs (cardiovascular diseases, cancer, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes). These risk factors include tobacco use, alcohol consumption and unhealthy diets high in free sugars, all of which are increasing at the global level. There is a proven relationship between oral and general health. It is reported, for example, that diabetes mellitus is linked with the development and progression of periodontitis. Moreover, there is a causal link between high sugars consumption and diabetes, obesity and dental caries.

     

    Impact

    Poor oral health causes millions of people to suffer from devastating pain and increases the out-of-pocket financial burden for society. Oral diseases can affect an individual’s effectiveness in school and work settings and can cause social and personal problems. The psychosocial impact of many oral diseases significantly reduces the quality of life.

    While the global burden of untreated dental caries for primary and permanent dentition has remained relatively unchanged over the past 30 years, the overall burden of oral conditions on services is likely to keep increasing because of population growth and ageing.

    Oral diseases disproportionally affect the poor and socially-disadvantaged members of society. There is a very strong and consistent association between socioeconomic status (income, occupation and educational level) and the prevalence and severity of oral diseases. This association remains across the life course, from early childhood to older age, and across populations in high-, middle- and low-income countries.

    66顺彩票appOral care treatment is costly, averaging 20% of out-of-pocket health expenditure in most high-income countries. The demand for oral health care is beyond the capacity of health care systems in most low- and middle-income countries, and many people in some high-income countries lack financial means to access proper care.

     

    Prevention and response

    In 2015, the Tokyo declaration on dental care and oral health for healthy longevity was adopted. This calls upon health policy makers and professionals to significantly reduce the global burden of disease related to oral health, to promote greater access and equity in oral health services, and to integrate oral health programs into the larger development agenda.

    66顺彩票appAdvocacy is needed to give greater prominence of oral health on the global health agenda and therefore contributing to prevention and control of NCDs and achievement of UHC. Reducing oral health issues calls for a reform of dental care systems to shift the focus from invasive dental treatment, which has failed to combat the global challenge of oral diseases, to minimal invasive treatment and oral diseases prevention. Stronger policies are needed to address the determinants of oral diseases and NCDs and to tackle inequalities through inclusive universal health care access.

    66顺彩票appWHO has identified key strategies for increasing oral health, with a focus on poor and marginalized populations where access to oral health care is most limited. These include strengthening  both cost-effective population-wide prevention and patient centred primary care, common risk factors reduction and oral health promotion.

    The WHO Oral Health Programme is currently implementing a three-year roadmap (2019–2021) comprising a mix of normative work and practical support to countries over five priority activities aligned to the GPW13. One of the top priority is to develop the WHO Global Oral Health Report (one of a WHO Global Public Health Goods) as a robust advocacy document to reinforce the commitment to oral health among policymakers, and to pave the way for the further development of a global oral health action plan towards 2030.

     

    3.58 billion

    were affected

    66顺彩票appby an oral diseases in 2016

    More on oral health

    20%

    of people

    66顺彩票apphave traumatic dental injuries

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    WHO Expert Consultation on Public Health Intervention against Early Childhood Caries (ECC) was held in Bangkok, Thailand, on 26-28 January 2016 to...

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    A guide for oral diseases patients to quit tobacco use

    This self-help material was developed based on WHO Capacity Building 66顺彩票app Package 4 entitled “Strengthening health systems for treating tobacco...

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