According to a study on oral health published by the World Health Organization, nearly half the world’s population suffers from oral disorders, with three out of four affected individuals residing in low- and middle-income nations.
The Global Oral Health Status Report is the first to compile complete data on oral illness from 194 nations. The study offers decision-makers information on significant oral health indicators.
“Global instances of oral illnesses have grown by one billion over the past three decades, a strong sign that many people lack access to oral disease prevention and treatment,” stated the agency’s official statement.
The Director-General of the World Health Organization, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, stated that oral health has been ignored for a long time. However, oral illnesses are preventable and cured through “cost-effective approaches.”
“WHO is dedicated to giving guidance and assistance to nations so that everyone, no matter where they live or how much money they have, has the information and skills necessary to care for their teeth and mouths and can access services for prevention and treatment when they need them,” he added.
According to the survey, the most prevalent oral ailment is tooth decay or dental caries. About 2.5 billion individuals worldwide suffer from untreated dental caries.
Tooth loss, severe gum disease, a primary cause of tooth loss, and oral malignancies are all relatively frequent conditions. Approximately one billion individuals worldwide suffer from severe gum disease.
Approximately 380 000 new instances of oral cancer are diagnosed annually, according to the statement.
The research also noted disparities in access to oral health treatments, stating that there is a “great burden of oral illnesses and disorders impacting the most vulnerable and underprivileged people.” Oral illnesses are more prevalent among vulnerable populations from lower socioeconomic levels, such as those with lower incomes, those with impairments, those living in rural regions, and minority groups.
This trend is comparable to cardiovascular diseases, malignancies, diabetes, and mental problems. Risk factors such as excessive sugar consumption and cigarette and alcohol addiction contribute to the global oral health epidemic.
While a relatively tiny fraction of the population gets access to oral health treatments, those with the greatest need do not.
The services necessitate expensive high-tech equipment and materials, resulting in a financial strain. This may be one of the primary causes of the lack of access.
“Poor information and surveillance systems, along with a low priority for public oral health research, are key obstacles to the development of more effective oral health interventions and policies,” according to the WHO.