Major and chronic diseases

Oral health


The information in the oral health field can be affected by the inadequate quality of data available for data planning, implementation, service management and evaluation. The profusion of internationally recommended indicators may complicate the national selection of indicators and may lead to unnecessary and costly monitoring efforts. The Commission works to change this situation by funding projects on oral health indicators or by collecting data on the self perceived oral health status of Europeans in a representative and comparable way.

Eurobarometer on oral health

This survey (fieldwork in 2009, publication in 2010) is based on a questionnaire designed by the EU project EGOHID (European Global Oral Health Indicators Development) developed under the Public Health Programme. The results provide key data on the state of the oral health of Europeans and their preventative or risk behaviour. A minority of Europeans still have all their natural teeth: 41% state that they have all their natural teeth while a third of them say that they still have 20 natural teeth or more. Among those who do not have all their natural teeth, almost a third (31%) wear a removable denture; with small differences from one country to another. 29% of Europeans who have a denture have worn it for at least ten years.

EU funded projects

In 2003, the European Commission launched the EU Project European Global Oral Health Indicators coordinated by the Université Claude Bernard de Lyon, to support European Member States in their efforts to reduce the toll of morbidity, disability related to oral health diseases. The project aimed at identifying indicators of oral health. Main outcomes of this project were:

         Report of the Consensus Workshop, University of Granada (Spain), 7-8 May 2004.

The EGOHID final report was the basis for a second phase of the project based on common approaches for oral health on health interview surveys and national health clinical surveys. The European project EGOHID II published in 2008 the final catalogue Oral Health Interviews and Clinical Surveys: Guidelines.

See also DG Research funded projects:

Information on oral health by WHO

The objective of CAPP - the WHO Oral Health Country/Area Profile Programme - is to present global information on dental diseases and oral health services. The "CAPP" was established at the WHO Collaborating Centre for Education, Training and Research at the Faculty of Odontology, Malmö, Sweden, in 1995.

The World Oral Health Report 2003 presents oral diseases as a major public health problem owing to their high prevalence and incidence in all regions of the world, and as for all diseases, the greatest burden of oral diseases is on disadvantaged and socially marginalized populations. The severe impact in terms of pain and suffering, impairment of function and effect on quality of life must also be considered. Traditional treatment of oral diseases is extremely costly in several industrialized countries, and not feasible in most low-income and middle-income countries. The WHO Global Strategy for Prevention and Control of Non communicable Diseases, added to the common risk factor approach a new strategy for managing prevention and control of oral diseases.

See WHO Oral health homepage