Oral health is essential to general health and quality of life. It is a state of being free from mouth and facial pain, oral and throat cancer, oral infection and sores, periodontal (gum) disease, tooth decay, tooth loss, and other diseases and disorders that limit an individual’s capacity in biting, chewing, smiling, speaking, and psychosocial wellbeing.
Oral diseases and conditions
The most common oral diseases are dental cavities, periodontal (gum) disease, oral cancer, oral infectious diseases, trauma from injuries, and hereditary lesions.
Worldwide, 60–90% of school children and nearly 100% of adults have dental cavities, often leading to pain and discomfort.
Periodontal disease ：
Severe periodontal (gum) disease, which may result in tooth loss, is found in 15–20% of middle-aged (35-44 years) adults.
Tooth loss ：
Dental cavities and periodontal disease are major causes of tooth loss. Complete loss of natural teeth is widespread and particularly affects older people. Globally, about 30% of people aged 65–74 have no natural teeth
Common causes ：
Risk factors for oral diseases include an unhealthy diet, tobacco use and harmful alcohol use. These are also risk factors for the four leading chronic diseases – cardiovascular diseases, cancer, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes – and oral diseases are often linked to chronic disease. Poor oral hygiene is also a risk factor for oral disease.
The prevalence of oral disease varies by geographical region, and availability and accessibility of oral health services. Social determinants in oral health are also very strong. The prevalence of oral diseases is increasing in low- and middle-income countries, and in all countries, the oral disease burden is significantly higher among poor and disadvantaged population groups.
Prevention and treatment
The burden of oral diseases and other chronic diseases can be decreased simultaneously by addressing common risk factors. These include:
01.decreasing sugar intake and maintaining a well-balanced nutritional intake to prevent tooth decay and premature tooth loss;
02.consuming fruit and vegetables that can protect against oral cancer;
03.stopping tobacco use and decreasing alcohol consumption to reduce the risk of oral cancers, periodontal disease and tooth loss;
04.ensuring proper oral hygiene;
05.using protective sports and motor vehicle equipment to reduce the risk of facial injuries, and safe physical environments.