This article is part of the supplement: Biotechnology and Biomaterials to Reduce the Caries Epidemic
The Dental Caries Pandemic and Disparities Problem
Section of Social and Behavioral Sciences, College of Dental Medicine, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA; Childrens Dental Health Project, Washington DC, USA
BMC Oral Health 2006, 6(Suppl 1):S2 doi:10.1186/1472-6831-6-S1-S2Published: 15 June 2006
Understanding caries etiology and distribution is central to understanding potential opportunities for and likely impact of new biotechnologies and biomaterials to reduce the caries burden worldwide. This review asserts the appropriateness of characterizing caries as a "pandemic" and considers static and temporal trend reports of worldwide caries distribution. Oral health disparities within and between countries are related to sugar consumption, fluoride usage, dental care, and social determinants of health. Findings of international and U.S. studies are considered in promoting World Health Organization's and others' recommendations for science-based preventive and disease management interventions at the individual, clinical, public health, and public policy levels.