What is oral health according to who?

Oral health is a key indicator of overall health, well-being and quality of life. It covers a variety of diseases and conditions including tooth decay, periodontal (gum) disease, tooth loss, oral cancer, oral trauma, noma, and birth defects, such as cleft lip and cleft palate. Normally, the body's natural defenses and good oral health care, such as brushing your teeth and flossing daily, keep bacteria under control. However, without proper oral hygiene, bacteria can reach levels that could cause oral infections, such as tooth decay and gum disease.

Dental and oral health is an essential part of your overall health and well-being. Poor oral hygiene can lead to tooth decay and gum disease, and has also been linked to heart disease, cancer and diabetes. The resolution affirms that oral health must be firmly integrated into the non-communicable disease agenda and that oral health interventions must be included in universal health coverage programs. Health, health status, health-related quality of life, and quality of life have been used interchangeably in the literature.

Other conditions that may be related to oral health include eating disorders, rheumatoid arthritis, certain types of cancer, and an immune system disorder that causes dry mouth (Sjogren's syndrome). These definitions suggest that HRQoL is equivalent to health, but at the same time encompasses dimensions that are broader than health. The recognition of health-related quality of life began since the WHO expanded the definition of health in 1948. Therefore, this aspect has potential and, in the future, dental health services research will focus on self-reported quality of life as a secondary or even primary outcome measure when evaluating community health interventions or programs. In certain aspects, quality of life equals health status, or in other words, poor health means poor quality of life and vice versa.

Consequently, Yewe—Dyer M defined oral health as the state of the mouth and associated structures where disease is contained, future illness is inhibited, occlusion is sufficient to chew food, and teeth have a socially acceptable appearance. The oral health dimension has been expanded by adding the concept of well-being after the WHO expanded the definition of health to include social welfare. The medical model has been replaced by the socio-environmental model of health, which assumes health status as the capacity for optimal functioning and social and psychological well-being. The importance of oral health has increased in recent years, as researchers have discovered a connection between deteriorating oral health and underlying systemic conditions.