Social Determinants and Oral Health: An Update

Marisol Tellez*, Avi Zini, Saskia Estupiñan-Day

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


This review presents the most recent studies and evidence on the social determinants of oral health. Oral disease is associated with an array of structural determinants (income, goods, and services). It is also associated with daily living conditions, and social gradients have been reported for dental caries, periodontal disease, oral cancer, and tooth loss. Current understanding of these interconnections have prompted the development of a new approach for oral health promotion, which recognizes that the behaviors accounting for the most important noncommunicable diseases contribute to oral diseases as well. Oral diseases and issues such as poor access to dental care and low oral health literacy levels are social, political, behavioral, and medical in nature. These conditions will only be controlled by the promotion of initiatives that prioritize the improvement in the social determinants of health as a backbone structure for the development of healthy enabling environments.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)148-152
Number of pages5
JournalCurrent Oral Health Reports
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2014

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014, Springer International Publishing AG.


  • Access to dental care
  • Dental caries
  • Oral cancer
  • Oral health disparities
  • Oral health literacy
  • Periodontal disease
  • Social determinants of health
  • Socio-economic status


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