The WHO Global Oral Health Programme focuses on the following priority action areas:
Risks to oral health and intervention
Diet, nutrition and oral health
Today the world faces two kinds of malnutrition, one associated with hunger or nutritional deficiency and the other with dietary excess. Diet and nutrition affects oral health in many ways.
Oral health and fluorides
Research has shown that fluoride is most effective in dental caries prevention when a low level of fluoride is constantly maintained in the oral cavity.
Tobacco and oral health
Prevalence of tobacco use has declined in some high-income countries but continues to increase in low- and middle-income countries, especially among young people and women.
Full text: risks to oral health and intervention
Important target groups
School children and youth
WHO's Global School Health Initiative, launched in 1995, seeks to mobilize and strengthen health promotion and education activities at local, national, regional and global levels.
The age distribution of the world’s population is changing. With advances in medicine and prolonged life expectancy, the proportion of older people will continue to rise worldwide.
Full text: important target groups
HIV/AIDS and oral health
The HIV/AIDS epidemic is one of the most serious to affect humanity. About 40 million people were infected with HIV in 2001, and millions have already died of AIDS.
Oral health services
More than 20 years after widespread adoption, the strategy of Health for All through primary health care still has not been fully implemented. In many countries, national capacity and resources are still insufficient to ensure availability of and access to essential health services of high quality for individuals and populations, especially in deprived communities.
The burden of oral disease and needs of populations are in transition and oral health systems and scientific knowledge are changing rapidly. In order to meet these challenges effectively public health care administrators and decision-makers need the tools, capacity and information to assess and monitor health needs, choose intervention strategies, design policy options appropriate to their own circumstances, and to improve the performance of the oral health system.