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Distribution of Oral Diseases


According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there is a significant difference in the prevalence of oral diseases between the developing and developed countries (WHO, 2016b). Despite the substantial progress or advanced programs aimed at periodontal disease treatment, there is still a lack of preventive measures that would lead to the reduction of negative outcomes related to the illness.

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Periodontal Diseases

Recent research conducted by WHO shows that 5 to 15 percent of the adult population of developing countries have been diagnosed with severe periodontitis, a disease that might result in the premature tooth loss (WHO, 2016b). The rates of the early-onset periodontitis for the youth are significantly lower in comparison to the adult population (2%) (WHO, 2016b). However, the data provided by 2012 CDC report indicates that nearly a half of the United States adult population developed some stage of periodontal disease (CDC, 2012). The higher rates of disease prevalence among 35-44-year-olds can be attributed to the smoking habit (WHO, 2016b). The research shows that periodontal disease rates have an inverse correlation to the reduction of tobacco use (WHO, 2016b).

Oral Cancer

The number of oral cancer cases increases every year (WHO, 2016a). The rates of the disease are especially high among men and range from1 to 10 cases per 100,000 people in many of the developed countries. Even the highly developed countries such as Denmark, Japan, Australia, and Scotland have reported the increase in the disease’s incidence rates (WHO, 2016b). The numbers for the developing countries are similar. The incidence rates of oral cancer per 100, 000 inhabitants of Thailand and India are 4.6 and 12.6 cases respectively (WHO, 2016b). The high prevalence of risk behaviors in the developing countries is related to the prevalence of the disease. For example, 60% of adult population of Thailand are smoking, and 15% of them chew betel nut (WHO, 2016b).

Dental Caries

Dental caries is one of the most important diseases for both industrialized and developing countries. The majority of adults along with 60 to 90 percent of children are affected by some form of the disease (WHO, 2016b). The data from WHO report shows that the likelihood of experiencing a permanent condition of dental caries is significantly higher for Asian countries than for the most African countries (WHO, 2016b). This distribution data can be used for the prediction of the disease growth in some of the developing countries. Particularly, the rates of oral health problems for the struggling world regions are expected to grow in the next years following the rise in sugar consumption (WHO, 2016b).

SES and Dental Health

The link between race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status (SES) and dental health has been established long ago (Hudson, Stockard, & Ramberg, 2007). A large body of literature has documented the differences between low SES and total dental health and ascribed them to the lack of preventive care among the poorly educated population (Hudson et al., 2007). Many researchers point to the different access to the health care as the main driving factor behind the oral health disparities (Hudson et al., 2007). Many studies have documented the lack of routine dental care and other healthy behaviors among the people from lower socioeconomic strata (Hudson et al., 2007).The distribution data can help understand why and how race, ethnic, SES and other differences can be related to the dental health.


CDC. (2012). Periodontal Disease. Web.

Hudson, K., Stockard, J., & Ramberg, Z. (2007). The Impact of Socioeconomic Status and Race-Ethnicity on Dental Health. Sociological Perspectives, 50(1), 7-25.

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WHO. (2016a). Global data on incidence of oral cancer (maps). Web.

WHO. (2016b). What is the burden of oral diseases? Web.

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