Oral Health in America: Advances and Challenges

Exploring the nation’s oral health over the last 20 years

“Oral health is essential to overall health and well-being. That relationship was a major conclusion of a Surgeon General’s report on oral health some 20 years ago, yet the many ways in which oral health is related to general health remain obscure for most of us. And although we are aware that some individuals enjoy better oral health than others, we are less likely to understand why clear and strong differences in oral health—even inequities—are found for various groups of people within our society. Finally, we rarely acknowledge the ways in which oral health and disease are inextricably involved in major social and health challenges—including the ongoing crises of opioid misuse and the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Each of these observations, moreover, begs consideration of how best to address oral health challenges in ways that ultimately will improve the health and well-being of all.”

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