Despite being entirely preventable, oral diseases are a significant health burden for many nations and have a lifetime impact on people, causing pain, discomfort, disfigurement, and even death. An estimated 3.5 billion people are impacted by oral disorders. Cavities (tooth decay), gum disease (periodontitis), and oral cancer are some of the most prevalent illnesses that affect our oral health. In the past year, more than 40% of individuals reported experiencing oral pain, and by the time they are 34, more than 80% of people will have experienced at least one cavity. Despite these staggering facts, there is still slow movement at a global scale to address oral health and its challenges.
Ogweno Stephen joined the C3 For Health Global Committee on oral health which had a recent meeting highlighting the burden of oral health but also the solutions. Some of the leading solutions suggested in the oral health space include providing oral health education on a more broad-spectrum fields to ensure individuals from an early age have an understanding of oral health and its importance. The other suggested solution was multisectoral collaboration beyond the medical field, partnering and collaborating with other sectors and the government to offer favorable conditions for oral health education, interventions and treatment. Such collaborations ensure that oral health continues to be a priority. Finally, more emphasis needs to be put on research on hoe to reduce the inequality gap and make oral health more available.
Clearly oral health is a subject that needs to be seriously addressed and you never know just how serious t is until your tooth aches!