Oral health is an integral part of our well-being as it affects every aspect of our lives. It is crucial to our overall health and in the maintenance of our quality of life. It is a condition in which our oral cavity and its related structures are free from pain, infection, diseases, and cancers for us to fully utilize our capacities in speaking, chewing, biting, smiling, among others.
Considered the “window to health,” the mouth can also show us indications of systemic diseases, nutritional deficiencies, or general infection of the body.
Oral Health Statistics
Despite the perceived importance of our oral health, people often take it for granted. Worldwide, about 60 to 90 percent of school-age children and almost 100 percent of adults are faced with the problem of dental of cavities which is a preventable dental disease.
Moreover, 15 to 20 percent of adults ages 35 to 44 years old have severe periodontal disease or periodontitis. The advanced form of chronic inflammatory disease affecting the gums is more prevalent among adults ages 65 years old and older, recording over 70 percent of the prevalence rate.
Because of the pervasiveness of dental cavities and gum disease, tooth loss has also become widespread especially among older people. Around 30 percent of adults in the United States ages 65 to 74 years old have lost all their natural teeth.
Meanwhile, the American Cancer Society sees a rise in its estimations on cases of oral cavity and oropharyngeal cancer in 2018 at 3.7649 percent. New cancer cases will reach 51,540 this year, higher by around 2,000 cases to last year’s 49,670. More deaths due to oral cancer will also increase in 2018 at 10,030, more elevated from the 2017 estimate of 9,700.
The continuous increase in oral-related diseases may be due to the neglect of most people in terms of keeping their oral health in check.
More than 30 percent of Americans fail to brush their teeth twice a day as recommended by the American Dental Association. Flossing is also not a priority for 20 percent of Americans who never flossed. More than 21 percent of Americans do not visit the dentist.