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July 26 marked the release of a letter to the United Nations (UN) from a coalition of 17 separate dental organizations. The letter beseeches the international governing body to include dental care in its planned health initiatives regarding non-communicable diseases (NCDs), according to the American Dental Association (ADA).
The call to action from this dental coalition references a plan proposed by the World Health Assembly (WHA) in 2007, which proposed a plan of action for combating oral diseases. In the view of these dental organizations, the UN General Assembly failed to include the plan's ideas in its own documents regarding NCD control and prevention.
Ten prominent U.S. dental organizations are among the 17 member groups of this loose coalition. Some of these include the ADA, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the American Association for Dental Research and the American Dental Education Association, among others.
These organizations aim to promote the idea that oral diseases pose a significant health threat to individuals worldwide.
The 2007 plan referenced in the letter surfaced at the 60th WHA. According to the first page of this document, prepared by the World Health Organization, oral disease is considered to be a serious issue of public health, with a major impact on individuals and communities. The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research states that 8.52 percent of adults aged 20 to 64 in the U.S. have periodontal disease.
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