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Dental Health

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 well being.

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.

Dental Cavities

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.

Oral cancer

The incidence of oral cancer ranges from one to 10 cases per 100 000 people in most countries. The prevalence of oral cancer is relatively higher in men, in older people, and among people of low education and low income. Tobacco and alcohol are major causal factors.

Fungal, bacterial or viral infections in HIV

Almost half (40–50%) of people who are HIV-positive have oral fungal, bacterial or viral infections. These often occur early in the course of HIV infection.

Oro-dental trauma

Across the world, 16-40% of children in the age range 6 to12 years old are affected by dental trauma due to unsafe playgrounds, unsafe schools, road accidents, or violence.


Noma is a gangrenous lesion that affects young children living in extreme poverty primarily in Africa and Asia. Lesions are severe gingival disease followed by necrosis (premature death of cells in living tissue) of lips and chin. Many children affected by noma suffer from other infections such as measles and HIV. Without any treatment, about 90% of these children die.

Cleft lip and palate

Birth defects such as cleft lip and palate occur in about one per 500–700 of all births. This rate varies substantially across different ethnic groups and geographical areas.

 (Source: WHO2014)

Helpful Links about Dental Health

What is dental health?

Healthy Teeth for Life: 10 Tips for Families

Dental Health and Overall Health

10 Tips for Healthy, White Teeth

Oral Health and Gum Disease Guide  (A special thanks to the Girl Scouts that suggested this link)

Featured Dental Health Providers

The Happy Tooth

Lane & Associates


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