Today, the International and American Associations for Dental Research (IADR/AADR) published a systemic analysis in the Journal of Dental Research. Authored by Wagner Marcenes, King's College London Dental Institute, England, UK, "Global Burden of Oral Conditions in 1990-2015: A Systemic Analysis" examines data to assess progress toward the Federation Dental International (FDI), World Health Organization (WHO) and IADR Oral Health Goals of reducing the level of oral diseases and minimizing their impact by 2020.
Due to demographic changes, including population growth and aging, the cumulative burden of oral conditions dramatically increased between 1990 and 2015. The number of people with untreated oral conditions rose from 2.5 billion in 1990 to 3.5 billion in 2015, with a 64 percent increase in disability-adjusted life year (DALYs) due to oral conditions throughout the world. Despite some challenges with current measurement methodologies for oral diseases, measurable specific oral health goals should be developed to advance global public health.
Marcenes and his team of researchers concluded that oral health did not improve in the 25 year time period studied, and that oral conditions remained a major and growing global public health challenge in 2015. While the age-standardized prevalence of oral conditions remained relatively stable between 1990 and 2015, population growth and aging have led to a dramatic increase in the burden of untreated oral conditions throughout the world. Greater efforts, and potentially different approaches, are needed if international oral health goals are to be achieved by 2020.
In an invited perspective article titled "The Global Burden of Oral Diseases—Research and Public Health Significance" by Bruce A. Dye, National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, Dye states "it is now evident that oral disorders are highly prevalent and a dental epidemiologic transition is underway at the global level. The sizeable burden of oral disorders (measured as DALYs) and its socioeconomic impact makes it an important global public health issue. Improving our understanding of the contribution of behavioral and physiological risk factors, social and economic determinants, and health delivery systems have to oral health and wellbeing at the population-level may not be an easy task, but untangling this complex web will help reduce disease burden and enhance life."
"Although numerous scientific discoveries and advancements have been achieved to combat and prevent oral health conditions, as a community we know that further efforts are required toward improving oral health worldwide and reducing the global burden of oral diseases," said oral health expert and AADR President-elect Raul Garcia. "I thank Dr. Wagner Marcenes for his continued research on the global burden of oral caries and Dr. Bruce A. Dye for providing additional insight."
Explore further: Systematic analysis: High global burden of oral conditions—3.9 billion affected