How Important Is Oral Health in Determining Quality of Life: A Narrative Review

Document Type: Narrative Review

Authors

SIBAR Institute of Dental Sciences, Andhra Pradesh, India

Abstract

There have been changes in the perceptions of health and healthcare. The key elements steering this change are the identification of social ramifications of disease and the agreement that healthcare strategies are directed at increasing the length and standard of life. There is a lack of consensus on defining the expression “quality of Life” (QoL). Some believe that QoL is synonymous with health, while others suggest that it is a comprehensive domain inclusive of larger domains relating to human experience. Oral health related quality of life (OHRQoL) is a comparatively recent phenomenon which has emerged over the last couple of decades. A potential reason for the recent emergence of OHRQoL could be the rather limited realization of the ramifications of deteriorated oral health on QoL. This paper attempts to identify various oral conditions and sociodemographics that affect the QoL of people. Since OHRQoL is a subjective measure, it is not exclusively dictated by oral health status. The concept of hierarchy of needs was highlighted to explain the poor utilization of oral health services, and it was concluded that the promotion of health and the creation of a complimentary socioeconomic environment are the only ways to improve people’s QoL.

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