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Adv Dent Res. 2011 May;23(2):227-36. doi: 10.1177/0022034511402081.

Global oral health inequalities: oral infections-challenges and approaches.

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  • 1King's College London Dental Institute, Central Office, Guys Hospital, London, UK. stephen.challacombe@kcl.ac.uk

Abstract

Four oral mucosal infections were identified as Global Oral Health Priorities: (a) HIV and associated viral, bacterial, and fungal infections; (b) tuberculosis; (c) NOMA; and (d) sexually transmitted diseases. Huge global inequalities exist in all four. HIV-associated infections constitute the major challenge. Oral manifestations of AIDS can be specifically diagnostic, indicating a significant role for dentists within health teams. The World Workshops in Oral Health & Disease in AIDS have identified a research program, elements of which are being implemented. Data on oral mucosal involvement in tuberculosis, syphilis, and gonorrhea are incomplete in developed countries and virtually non-existent in low- and middle-income countries, indicating the need for further epidemiological studies. Oral manifestations of tuberculosis and sexually transmitted diseases are largely associated with general health, so action programs should be integrated with agencies treating the systemic diseases. NOMA is very much in the oral health domain. It is a preventable disease associated with malnutrition and unidentified bacterial factors. Prevalence is probably grossly overestimated at present; but nevertheless it constitutes a challenge to the profession, especially in the NOMA belt. Current treatment is surgical, but plans for its eradication should be achievable. The global oral health community, especially the IADR, has a major role to play.

PMID:
21490235
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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