Research published in the Journal of Dental Research shows that oral health problems affect 3.9 billion people worldwide – roughly half the human population.
The Global Burden of Disease (GBD) 2010 Study examined data from 1990, 2005, and 2010 to conclude that the prevalence of oral health conditions has risen considerably in the past 20 years.
Untreated caries in permanent teeth was the most prevalent condition evaluated for the entire GBD 2010 Study (global prevalence of 35% for all ages combined), whereas severe periodontitis and untreated caries in deciduous teeth were the 6th and 10th most prevalent conditions, affecting, respectively, 11% and 9% of the global population.
The study also noted a shift in what oral health conditions most affect the population, noting:
While the DALYs [disability-adjusted life years] (in thousands) due to untreated caries and severe periodontitis increased since 1990, those due to severe tooth loss decreased.
The impact of oral health problems on quality of life is a global burden that demonstrates the need for increased awareness on the importance of oral health on overall health.