Sociobehavioural risk factors in dental caries – international perspectives
Community Dent Oral Epidemiol 2005; 33: 274–9
Blackwell Munksgaard, 2005
Diseases probably have their roots in a complex chain of environmental and behavioural events which are shaped by broader socioeconomic determinants. Most studies of sociobehavioural risk factors in dental caries have been carried out in industrialized countries, but such reports from low- and middle-income countries have been published in recent years. World Health Organization international collaborative studies and other international studies of social factors in dental caries using the same methodology provide empirical evidence of social inequality in oral health across countries and across oral health care systems. The paper highlights the challenges to dental public health practice, particularly the importance of risk assessment in estimating the potential for prevention. In future public health programmes, systematic risk factor assessment may therefore be instrumental in the planning and surveillance of oral health promotion and oral disease intervention programmes.