The major kind of oral health conditions are: dental caries (tooth decay), periodontal diseases, oral cancers, oral manifestations of HIV, oro-dental trauma, cleft lip and palate, and Noma. Most of the oral health conditions are easily preventable and can be treated in their early stages as well more quickly.
In several places like low- and middle-income countries, with rising urbanization and changes or improvements in living conditions, the prevalence of oral diseases continues to increase or raise its common factor. This is due to inadequate exposure to fluoride and poor or worse access to oral health care services in the community. Marketing of food substances and beverages with higher amount of sugar, as well as tobacco and alcohol, has led to rise in the consumption of products that contribute to oral health problems as well and other noncommunicable diseases too more evenly.
Dental caries (tooth decay)
Dental caries result when the presence of plaque appears on the surface of a tooth and converts it into free sugars (all sugars added to foods or substance by the manufacturer, cook, or consumer, plus sugars naturally present in honey, syrups, and in some fresh fruit juices) contained in foods and drinks into acids that worsen the tooth over time.
Periodontal disease creates greater impacts on the tissues that both surround and support the tooth. The disease is differentiated by bleeding or swollen gums as well, pain and sometimes bad breath. In its more critical form, the gum can come away from the tooth and supporting bone as well, resulting in the teeth becoming loose and sometimes fall out by their own.
Oral cancer includes cancers of the lip, other parts of the mouth and the oropharynx. The global incidence of cancers of the lip and oral cavity is estimated at 4 cases per 100 000 people. Moreover its function, there is wide variation across the globe: from no recorded cases to around 20 cases per 100 000 people. And many more several types.
Prevention of Oral Health
The burden of oral diseases and several types of diseases can be eliminated through public health interventions by addressing common risk factors.
- Promoting a well-balanced diet low in free sugars and high in fruit and vegetables
- Stopping use of all forms of tobacco
- Reducing alcohol consumption
- Encouraging the use of protective equipment when doing sports and travelling on bicycles and motorcycles
Adequate exposure to fluoride substances is an essential factor in the prevention of dental caries as well.
Access to oral health services
There are more unequal distribution of oral health professionals and a lack of proper and appropriate health facilities in several many countries mean that access to primary oral services is low. While according to a survey of adults expressing a need for oral health services, access ranges 35% in low-income countries to 60% in lower-middle-income countries, 75% in upper-middle-income countries and 82% in high-income countries.