New Strategy Seeks to Improve America's Oral Health

Published Online: Sunday, June 1, 2003

"Oral Health in America: A Report of the Surgeon General" alerted Americans to the importance of everyday oral health. The report, issued in May 2000, provided evidence on the growth and development of oral, dental, and craniofacial tissues and organs; the diseases and conditions affecting them; and the integral relationship between oral health and general health. The report found:

  • Oral health is more than healthy teeth
  • The mouth reflects general health and well-being
  • Oral diseases and conditions are associated with other health problems
  • The most common dental diseases?dental caries and periodontal diseases?are preventable
  • Scientific research is key to further reduction in the burden of diseases and disorders that affect the face, mouth, and teeth

In April 2003, the Department of Health and Human Services released a "National Call to Action to Promote Oral Health"?a public?private partnership under the leadership of the of the Surgeon General?s office. The pharmacy industry and pharmacists at large have a key role in the oral health of the population.

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