Journal of Indian Society of Periodontology

: 2020  |  Volume : 24  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 3--4

Oral health scenario in India

Nymphea Pandit 
 Department of Periodontology, D.A.V. Dental College and Hospital, Yamuna Nagar, Haryana, India

Correspondence Address:
Nymphea Pandit
Department of Periodontology, D.A.V. Dental College and Hospital, Yamuna Nagar, Haryana

How to cite this article:
Pandit N. Oral health scenario in India.J Indian Soc Periodontol 2020;24:3-4

How to cite this URL:
Pandit N. Oral health scenario in India. J Indian Soc Periodontol [serial online] 2020 [cited 2020 Mar 30 ];24:3-4
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The most common dental diseases affecting the Indian population are dental caries affecting about 65%, periodontal diseases affecting 85% and India is considered to be capital of the oral cancer as stated by the Ministry of Health and family welfare.[1]

The amount of budgetary allowance for Government of India is just 19 purchasing power parity for every person which is about 207 in Thailand, 122 in China, 88 in Sri Lanka, 751 in Maldives and 60 in Bhutan.[2] This amount is among the lowest in the world. And even, out of this amount a miniature percentage is spent for oral health activities.

So, health care finance is mainly based on the out of pocket spending in the low income or developing nations. Out of pocket mode of payment is any direct spending by the households including payments to practitioners, medicines and therapeutic appliances.

As compared to the last year the per capita income of Indians has improved by 10% to Rs. 10,534 a month during the financial year ended March 2019,[3] yet this amount does not allow a common man to spent adequately on the oral care needs.

Since the concept of plaque control developed, fingers, sticks, and twigs have been used traditionally in our country. In the first part of 20th century the concept of single brush for a family was introduced in United States, which was common among the poor. With the replacement of natural filaments with the nylon filaments the toothbrushes became less expensive in late 1930's, wood and bone being replaced by plastic handles, and everyone could afford an individual toothbrush.[4] The modern, manual toothbrush helps to clean teeth more effectively than these traditional instruments.

The cost of a simple manual brush ranges from Rs. 10 to Rs. 80. In a family of 5 to 6 members and the fact that they have to be replaced every 3 months, this is a major amount to be spent from the income of 10,543 (per capita income).

With growing modernization, Indians are rapidly moving away from the traditional fiber rich diet to sugary and synthetic diet which is contributory to the oral diseases. Along with this many people take dental care for granted until it is too late. Many people still perceive oral health and dental hygiene as secondary priority.[1]

As a result of continuous research and development, recently more advanced toothbrushes such as electric rotation-oscillation, sonic, and solar-powered toothbrushes have been introduced and they also promote better oral health with less effort using their additional cleaning mechanisms. But in the Indian scenario these cleaning aids are beyond the reach of the common man.

Brushing efficiency depends on the type of brush, the frequency of brushing, time spent and the method used. The most common unmonitored method used is the horizontal scrub technique. The surveys about brushing carried across India have not been conclusive in achieving the ideal results. There are problems in changing the techniques used by the patients throughout their life.

With such a background, our focus should be the introduction of programmes which spread awareness for the proper use of the brushing techniques with cheaper cleaning aids such as conventional brushes rather than the introduction of more expensive and unaffordable methods.


1Sharma NC. Dental Public Health – Why is it Important in India? 2019.
2Purchasing Power Parities and Real Expenditures - Asian. Available from: ' files ' publication ' 2011-icp-ppps-real-expenditures. [Last accessed on 2019 Nov 21].
3Mishra H. India's Per-Capita Income Rises 10% to ₹10,534 A Month in FY19; 2019.
4Mandal A, Singh DK, Siddiqui H, Das D, Dey AK. New dimensions in mechanical plaque control: An overview. Indian J Dent Sci 2017;9:133-9.