In this section:
Oral health is one of the most neglected areas of global health, yet 90% of people have had dental problems or toothache caused by caries and severe periodontitis affects up to 15%. Oral cancer is the eighth most common cancer worldwide, and the most common in men in South East Asia.
In the Philippines, as many as 97% of six-year-olds have dental caries. The related pain and sepsis affect a child’s ability to eat, sleep, concentrate resulting in a host of problems from school absenteeism to malnutrition.
Access to oral care is a major problem: Germany and the UK have one dentist per 1,000 population, low-income and middle-income countries have one dentist per 50,000 people, but in some sub-Saharan African countries the ratio is only one per 900,000 people.
"Many busy dental policy makers and lay people often need information on oral health and this is were they should go to for easily accessible, reliable information on a wide range of subjects ranging from basic information on, for example, the eruption dates of teeth to the social and economic determinants of oral health and prevention and dental treatment...Unlike most books on oral health, the atlas places great emphasis on the ‘causes of the causes’ of dental diseases...So three cheers for the authors of The Oral Health Atlas for placing the correct emphasis on what dentists should be addressing to improve oral health and deal with this neglected global health issue.
An impressive aspect of the Atlas is that it ranges from such upstream concepts to very basic evidence based advice for lay people on improving and protecting their oral health. I am sure that many magazines will copy their beautifully illustrated pages on the subject. Indeed, the quality of production of the atlas is admirable. This is an excellent resource that should be widely used." – Emeritus Professor Aubrey Sheiham, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University College London
"The Atlas is terrific – unique and so very impressive. I don't know of another oral heath-related publication that could have near the impact that this surely must be having upon everyone who opens it. It is comprehensive, but also has each subject so attractively displayed that its message should be easily recalled for later uses." – Dr Robert Mecklenburg
See co-author Dr Habib Benzian interviewed about 'Mapping Oral Health Worldwide' in Compendium of Continuing Education in Dentistry
Co-author Dr Judith Mackay at the Regional Committee Meeting of the Western Pacific Region of WHO presents a copy to China's Minister of Health, Professor Chen Zhu.