by Kenneth A Eaton
Journal of Public Health Policy (2012) 33, 382–386
In many countries, oral health has a relatively low priority. This is perhaps unsurprising because, with the exception of oro-pharyngeal cancer, very few people die as a direct result of oral diseases. Painful or unsightly teeth and periodontal tissues (gums) and oral infection can, however, have a variety of consequences leading to a reduced quality of life and considerable expense. This article explains why oral health should be fully integrated into health planning and public health, considering, in particular, the increasing emphasis placed on non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and oral manifestations of infectious disease.