A healthy mouth equals a healthy body! Good oral health is often linked to overall wellbeing and optimum health. The dental specialists rightfully advocate the importance of proper oral care, because the mouth is the gateway to the rest of the body. An infection in the teeth and or gums, due to poor oral hygiene can compromise more organs such as the lungs, heart, and brain and cause severe and irreversible damage. This is why the presence of oral medical centers plays a significant role in the promotion of proper oral care. However, the people in need of dental treatments are less likely to have access to them for various reasons.

 The State of Oral Health Care worldwide

According to the World Health Organization WHO, roughly 15-20% of adults between the ages of 35 and 44 have advanced gum disease, while over 30% of adults worldwide between the ages of 65 and 74 have none of their natural teeth intact. Furthermore, the statistical evidence reveals that 60-90% of children and approximately 100% of adults in the world have dental cavities at least at one point in their lifetime.

 Tooth decay is the most commonly diagnosed dental disease in the world, affecting nearly 90% of the population. It’s also the most prevalent childhood illness, afflicting more than 70% of school-aged children3. Oral hygiene habits among children from 41 countries demonstrate a variation in brushing frequency between North American and European countries, based on the most recent surveys. Reports by the American Dental Association (ADA) reveal that 78% of adults in the USA brush their teeth twice daily, while in the case of children only 44% of them do. European countries such as Switzerland, Sweden, Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, and Norway have the highest ranking in oral care, and specifically up to 75% of adults brush their teeth twice or more daily. Ranking lower in oral hygiene are countries like  Finland, Romania, Greece, Lithuania, Turkey, and Malta, where fewer than 46% of adults take good care of their teeth.

The skyrocketing rise of oral diseases is a major public health threat globally. Fortunately,  the Global Oral Health Programme, introduced by WHO, is drawing attention to the importance of oral health around the world. The objective of the program is to identify strategies to help the millions of people who are unable to receive preventative dental care due to a lack of financial resources or access. Several European countries have privatized oral health care services in recent years, making it unaffordable for many. Furthermore, most eastern European countries have stopped providing school dental services, leaving children without access to oral health care. Dealing with oral diseases effectively, to drive these percentages down, will require access to dental care products and dental treatments for everyone.


Oral care in Developed Countries

 The United States, Japan, and Canada are the top 3 countries with the highest number of hired dental professionals globally, indicating that developed countries have the best access to oral health care. Income levels play a significant part in determining good oral health. Since many health insurance policies do not cover dental care, middle-class families often struggle to afford the recommended twice-yearly checkups and necessary dental work.

 One thing worth noting is that, as research continues to uncover the many hazards associated with gum disease, the number of dental hygienists joining the industry has been increasing in all developed countries over the last decade. Between 1987 and 2006, the number of dental hygienists in Canada grew by 200%, whereas the number of dental hygienists in Italy increased by a stunning 2207%! The Bureau of Labor Statistics in the United States has predicted a 38% increase in job growth in the profession between 2010 and 2020, which is much higher than the average for all occupations. A rise in population, a larger need for preventative dental treatment, and the need to maintain oral health, by minimizing dental problems in the elderly population, are among the reasons for this considerable increase.

 Oral care in Developing Countries

On the contrary, the reality in developing nations is entirely different. For example, although tooth decay is very common in the developed world, it is surprisingly rare in African countries. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), this is primarily due to the scarcity of sugar in people’s diets. A bacterial infection that affects impoverished children and destroys the soft and hard tissues of the oral cavity called Noma, is prevalent throughout the Sub-Saharan region in lieu of dental caries. As shown by studies, it may surpass death rates of HIV/AIDS and malaria in the upcoming decades. As a response to that, the International No-Noma Federation was established by a group of 30 foundations and non-governmental organizations. In Africa, a coordinated effort to address the disease includes village-specific awareness programs, malnutrition solutions, and increased surveillance. While prevention is vital, a treatment-based strategy involving dental surgery is frequently required but costly. Such programs rely on both private investments and a sufficient group of dental professionals.


The reports show that dental health problems affect both the developed and the developing world. The first step to address them is the integration of oral health in the healthcare system, the appropriate distribution of medical staff across the world, and educational programs and campaigns for the low-income and high-risk populations. Spreading awareness will be a long process, but it starts with the preventative measures taken by individuals. The quality of life depends on personal hygiene, of which dental care should be an integral part.