Over the past two decades an increasing body of research has been devoted to exploring the links between oral diseases and disorders and quality of life outcomes. As with similar studies in medicine, this work was stimulated by changing concepts of health, the development of theoretical models linking biological and psychosocial variables and the development and testing of measures that allowed those linkages to be investigated. This area of research is now referred to by the rather cumbersome term ’oral health-related quality of life’. This research addresses two important questions: 1) To what extent do oral disorders compromise aspects of daily living that individuals value? 2) What interventions mitigate their effects and restore the individual’s quality of life? This presentation provides an overview of this field of research and a brief summary of some of the work that has been conducted to date along with the implications for clinical and public health practice of what that research has found.
Keywords: oral disorders, oral health related quality of life, quality of life, outcomes, clinical trials