Oral health has become increasingly important for the well-being and general health at individual and population levels. Dental caries and periodontal disease - the most prevalent oral diseases in the Portuguese population - share the same risk factors of non-communicable diseases such as cardiovascular disease and cancer. However, the social determinants of oral diseases, including literacy and access to oral health care, have been taking on an important role in the prevalence of oral diseases throughout the world.
The Department of Oral Public Health aims to disseminate knowledge about the importance of having good oral health, as well as participate in the characterisation and understanding of oral health's determinants and indicators, in order to achieve its prevention and control.
The Department intends to use the data obtained to identify target groups and to establish intervention strategies that lead to better oral health among the Portuguese population. This information will allow a better awareness by political decision-makers about the strategies that need to be implemented in order to fight the high prevalence of oral diseases.
This Department's mission is, therefore, to create tools and information based on scientific evidence that, considering the existing data, requirements and resources, can be implemented in oral public health programs.