Oral diseases affect nearly 45 percent of people worldwide, according to a report by the World Health Organization (WHO). Around 2.5 billion people worldwide have tooth decay and one billion people have gum disease. Every year 380,000 cases of oral cancer are diagnosed.
According to the WHO, governments and authorities must educate people better and promote a diet that also has a positive effect on oral health. These included fewer sugary foods, less tobacco use, and less alcohol. Toothpaste containing fluoride must be available everywhere.
The organization called on countries to integrate oral health into primary health care, to better inform people and to ensure prompt treatment if problems arise. Three-quarters of those affected by oral disease live in low- and middle-income countries, the WHO reported. Even within a country, members of poorer and disadvantaged social groups and people who live in institutions or far away in the countryside are often poorly cared for than others. That must be fixed.