Inequalities in oral health and oral health promotion


Braz. oral res.




This article offers a critical review of the problem of inequalities in oral health and discusses strategies for disease prevention and oral health promotion. It shows that oral health is not merely a result of individual biological, psychological, and behavioral factors; rather, it is the sum of collective social conditions created when people interact with the social environment. Oral health status is directly related to socioeconomic position across the socioeconomic gradient in almost all populations. The main priority for dental interventions is that they be integrated collaboratively and enable research and policies that address the main proximal determinants of oral diseases, i.e., sugars, smoking, hygiene, and risk behaviors. Adopting a mixed approach, these interventions should also reduce inequality, focusing on the socioeconomic determinants, to change the slope of the social gradient. The cornerstone of this approach is the Integrated Common Risk Factor Approach (CRFA).

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