A Life Course Health Development Perspective on Oral Health

This is one of 26 chapters published in the Handbook of Life Course Health Development.


Abstract: This chapter outlines major concepts and principles embodied in the Life Course Health Development framework, examines evidence relating various aspects of major oral health-related conditions to this framework, and includes recommendations for advancing research and policy concerning oral health. LCHD provides a highly useful approach for understanding oral health determinants, disparities, and influences on general health and well-being and for advancing knowledge, policies, and programs to optimize health across individuals and populations. Substantial gaps exist in our current knowledge concerning how oral health is developed and influenced across the lifespan and the —pathways and trajectories, early programming, critical or sensitive periods, cumulative impact, and risk and protective factors—can help further our understanding of the determinants of oral health and disease and oral health disparities. LCHD also can serve as a valuable guide for developing a more contemporary conceptualization and definition of oral health which represents oral health as a more integral and integrated component of overall health and well-being of the individual.



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