Oral conditions, dental caries worldwide

Even with dramatic advances in the armamentarium for fighting oral and dental diseases, such as dental caries and periodontal (gum) disease, these conditions remain prevalent in many parts of the world, without regard for geopolitical boundaries.

Today, during the 84th General Session of the International Association for Dental Research, in a session entitled "Oral Health Research", scientists from Australia (studies in Australia and Fiji), Bangladesh, Canada, China, Germany (a study in The Gambia), Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Poland, Thailand, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States will present a wide variety of findings:

  • Risk of dental caries is very high in rural Fijian children, but there is promise of improvement via a Maternal and Child Health Clinic. (Australian study)
  • Mothers viewed oral health as an important part of their infants'/toddlers' overall health and were happy to be involved in a longitudinal study, with endorsement from community nurses. (Australia)
  • Caries and its effects are the main reasons for tooth extraction in underprivileged adolescents, and greatly improved preventive efforts are required. (Bangladesh)
  • Dentists can play a critical role in the early identification of high-risk oral cancer lesions, but they need increased education, along with enhanced public awareness and improvement and recognition of the referral-to-care pathway. (Canada)
  • Tooth discoloration is common among the Chinese, and many are dissatisfied with their tooth color. (China)
  • Utilization of community-based oral health services is less than that of hospital-based services in urban Chinese adults, and preventive-oriented oral health services in community health care centers is urged. (China)
  • The Witten/Herdecke University Oral Health Care Project in The Gambia has concluded that there is a need for early minimally invasive restorative treatment to avoid later extractions, especially in rural areas. (Germany/The Gambia)
  • Orthodontic treatment need is highly associated with oral-health-related quality of life in children. (Hong Kong)
  • A study evaluating risk factors for tooth decay in 6- to 12-year-old children concluded that increased planning for preventive dental programs is needed. (Indonesia)
  • A ten-year study evaluated dental caries and dentition of an adult population and found that patients are interested in their individual oral health status compared with that of the general population. (Japan)
  • Environmental factors account for more malocclusions than previously believed. (Poland)
  • The growing number of children with extracted teeth is of concern. (Poland)
  • Further implementation of school-based oral health promotion and application of population-directed preventive strategies are needed to control dental caries. (Turkey)
  • Even though the dental students surveyed were highly motivated, their oral health did not reach satisfactory levels. (United Arab Emirates).
  • There is an inverse relationship between rural and urban locales with respect to decayed/missing/filled scores, with urban teen smokers accounting for a greater proportion of high scores than their rural counterparts, and with female teen smokers leading the pack. (United States)


This is a summary of Sequence #20, "Oral Health Research 1," being presented from 1 to 2 p.m. on Wednesday, June 28, 2006, in Exhibit Hall 1 of the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre, during the 84th General Session of the International Association for Dental Research.

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 30 Apr 2016
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