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Advancing Science for Global Health
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Oral and dental health news, resources and funding for global health researchers

Oral health is an increasingly important part of overall health. According to a World Health Organization oral health fact sheet, oral diseases are the most common noncommunicable diseases and affect people throughout their lifetime, causing pain, discomfort, disfigurement and even death.

Oral health issues include access to dental care, rural fluoride use, oral side effects of tobacco use, oral hygiene education, nutrition, and treatment of children with cleft palates and noma. Oral global health also has varied implications for numerous diseases and cancers. A range of oral issues are also often early indicators of HIV infection. Oral manifestations of some diseases can be life-saving if diagnosed and treated appropriately.

At NIH, the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) leads oral, dental and craniofacial health research and research training efforts.

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Miho Uchida, a technician from the Japan Self-Defense Forces Dental Corps, shows a Tongan citizen how to brush teeth more efficiently at a health fair during Pacific Partnership 2013Photo courtesy U.S. Navy

Integrating oral and general health is essential

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Updated May 2, 2024