Tooth Decay Is a Global Dilemma

Published Online: Saturday, May 1, 2004

A report recently released by the World Health Organization (WHO) found that 5 billion individuals worldwide have had cavities. Also, oral diseases such as tooth decay, gum disease, and oral and pharyngeal cancers are a global problem?in industrialized nations and increasingly in developing countries, especially in poverty-stricken populations. Oral diseases cause pain, suffering, impaired function, and reduced quality of life. The cost of treatment in industrialized countries accounts for between 5% and 10% of health costs, said WHO officials.

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