The global burden of oral diseases and risks to oral health
Poul Erik Petersen, Denis Bourgeois, Hiroshi Ogawa, Saskia Estupinan-Day, & Charlotte Ndiaye
This paper outlines the burden of oral diseases worldwide and describes the influence of major sociobehavioural risk factors in oral health. Despite great improvements in the oral health of populations in several countries, global problems still persist. The burden of oral disease is particularly high for the disadvantaged and poor population groups in both developing and developed countries. Oral diseases such as dental caries, periodontal disease, tooth loss, oral mucosal lesions and oropharyngeal cancers, human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS)-related oral disease and orodental trauma are major public health problems worldwide and poor oral health has a profound effect on general health and quality of life. The diversity in oral disease patterns and development trends across countries and regions reflects distinct risk profiles and the establishment of preventive oral health care programmes. The important role of sociobehavioural and environmental factors in oral health and disease has been shown in a large number of socioepidemiological surveys. In addition to poor living conditions, the major risk factors relate to unhealthy lifestyles (i.e. poor diet, nutrition and oral hygiene and use of tobacco and alcohol), and limited availability and accessibility of oral health services. Several oral diseases are linked to noncommunicable chronic diseases primarily because of common risk factors. Moreover, general diseases often have oral manifestations (e.g. diabetes or HIV/AIDS). Worldwide strengthening of public health programmes through the implementation of effective measures for the prevention of oral disease and promotion of oral health is urgently needed. The challenges of improving oral health are particularly great in developing countries. determined and interviews conducted. The medical causes of death and avoidable factors were determined. Results showed that the maternal mortality ratio (MMR) had dropped by 52% within that period (from 174 to 84/100 000 live births). The National Maternal Mortality Survey in 1992–93 (NMMS) revealed that the metropolitan areas and Upper Egypt had a higher MMR than Lower Egypt. In response to these results, the Egyptian Ministry of Health and Population (MOHP) intensified the efforts of its Safe Motherhood programmes in Upper Egypt with the result that the regional situation had reversed in 2000. Consideration of the intermediate and outcome indicators suggests that the greatest effect of maternal health interventions was on the death-related avoidable factors “substandard care by health providers” and “delays in recognizing problems or seeking medical care”. The enormous improvements in these areas are certainly due in part to extensive training, revised curricula, the publication of medical protocols and services standards, the upgrading of facilities, and successful community outreach programmes and media campaigns. The impact on the utilization of antenatal care (ANC) has been less successful. Other areas that remain problematic are inadequate supplies of blood, drugs and equipment. Although the number of maternal deaths linked to haemorrhage has been drastically reduced, it remains the primary cause.