Indian Journal of Dental Research

: 2016  |  Volume : 27  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 229-

Burden of oral diseases: Further thoughts

SM Balaji 
 Executive Editor, Indian Journal of Dental Research, Director and Consultant Maxillofacial Surgeon, Balaji Dental and Craniofacial Hospital, Teynampet, Chennai, India

Correspondence Address:
S M Balaji
Executive Editor, Indian Journal of Dental Research, Director and Consultant Maxillofacial Surgeon, Balaji Dental and Craniofacial Hospital, Teynampet, Chennai

How to cite this article:
Balaji S M. Burden of oral diseases: Further thoughts.Indian J Dent Res 2016;27:229-229

How to cite this URL:
Balaji S M. Burden of oral diseases: Further thoughts. Indian J Dent Res [serial online] 2016 [cited 2021 Sep 27 ];27:229-229
Available from:

Full Text

In all reviews and reports of burden of oral diseases,[1] including the previous editorial [2] relies on the dentist, dental associations, and oral health care policy makers. A larger lacuna of such reports exists from a common man and government point of view. This gap of knowledge is the main reason for several structural and policy-derived lapses.

As in any disease process, oral health professionals have a different dimensional understanding of the oral diseases (technically termed as “Measured Diseases”); the public's perception of the diseases (“Perceived diseases,” usually by firsthand or relayed experience) while the staggering point or an end point usually when the oral disease require action (usually when the sufferer comes out of house to seek dental care, often due to pain). The difference in these three parameters could be one of the causes that impede the implementation of policies that could visibly reduce oral disease burden.

For the measured diseases, there are sufficient literature to substantiate on the claim of oral disease burden and its impact.[1] This is usually done on large-scale population-based screening while the hospital-based studies form the end point when the patient is forced to seek oral health-care provider.[3] Literature have both such studies documented.

However, large-scale studies do not exist on the “Perceived Oral Disease” burden. In other chronic lifestyle disorders such as diabetes and hypertension, validated and widely accepted tools do exist ( I call upon oral health-care policy makers to evolve such an oral illness or disease perception questionnaire would yield vital clue from the patient perspective. Moreover, Indian dental professionals and members of dental research community need to create sufficient evidence-based epidemiological studies that quantify the:

Measured oral disease burden Perceived oral disease burden and Action/oral health-care seeking based oral disease burden.

This would help us to achieve the realization of gaps in perception and taking sufficient steps to address inequalities of oral health-care delivery in India.


1Jin LJ, Lamster IB, Greenspan JS, Pitts NB, Scully C, Warnakulasuriya S. Global burden of oral diseases: Emerging concepts, management and interplay with systemic health. Oral Dis 2016. [doi:10.1111/odi.12428].
2Balaji SM. Burden of oral diseases. Indian J Dent Res 2016;27:115.
3Kassebaum NJ, Bernabé E, Dahiya M, Bhandari B, Murray CJ, Marcenes W. Global burden of severe tooth loss: A systematic review and meta-analysis. J Dent Res 2014;93 7 Suppl: 20S-8S.