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Oral Health and Dentistry

  • By: David G. Dunning & Kimberly K. McFarland
  • In: Encyclopedia of Health Communication
  • Edited by: Teresa L. Thompson
  • Subject:Public Health Education & Health Promotion, Health Psychology, Health Communication

Tooth decay is the most prevalent chronic disease in the world. Without intervention most oral disease is progressive and can be detrimental to overall health. Untreated tooth decay can result in tooth loss and poor nutrition and can lead to death. In the United States annually, approximately 51 million hours of school are missed by students with dental problems and 164 million hours of work are missed by adults due to dental disease or dental visits. Poor dental health also impacts overall health and increases the risk for diabetes, heart disease, and poor birth outcomes. Communication aimed at achieving oral health involves several key issues: having access to oral health care, utilizing effective communication strategies, understanding the systemic relationship between oral health and general ...

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