Oral health is an essential part of the general health of each person during his or her life. Poor oral health and untreated oral diseases can lead to major health risks such as an increased risk of heart disease and chronic infections. Poor oral health leads to a lower quality of life and economic hardship.
The oral cavity is one of the most infected parts of man. We hardly understand why most people are completely healthy with thousands of species of microorganisms in the mouth while some develop oral diseases. New scientific insights and technologies make it possible to shift the focus of the investigation of the disease to understanding the health of the mouth as a complex ecosystem, with applications far beyond the mouth alone.
Translational research and understanding of the functioning of the healthy state of the mouth are giving promising perspectives on both economic and social spin-off product innovations in the food, oral care products and dental restorative materials, as well as new cost-effective prevention programs for the population. The dental and medical profession is (re)educated with new knowledge on the fundamentals of normal oral health.