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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 1-2

Oral Diseases Group of Asia: Time to Blossom

Professor of Oral Medicine, Prince of Songkla University, Hat Yai, Songkhla 90110, Thailand

Date of Web Publication20-May-2015

Correspondence Address:
Wipawee Nittayananta
Professor of Oral Medicine, Prince of Songkla University, Hat Yai, Songkhla 90110
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0975-8844.157354

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How to cite this article:
Nittayananta W. Oral Diseases Group of Asia: Time to Blossom. J Orofac Sci 2015;7:1-2

How to cite this URL:
Nittayananta W. Oral Diseases Group of Asia: Time to Blossom. J Orofac Sci [serial online] 2015 [cited 2023 Jan 27];7:1-2. Available from:

Asia, the world's largest and most populous continent, comprises 30% of the earth's land area with 60% of the planet's human population (about 4.4 billion people in 2014). Asia consists of 51 countries and dependent territories by population. It is traditionally split up into six regions: Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan); Western Asia or the Middle East (Bahrain, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, the Palestinian Territories, Oman, Qatar, the Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen); Southern Asia (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhustan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka); Eastern Asia (China, Hong Kong, Macao, North Korea, South Korea, Japan, and Taiwan), and Southeastern Asia (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Timor-Leste, and Vietnam). The People's Republic of China is the most populated country with an estimated population 1.35 billion people, and the Russian Federation is the largest country in terms of area with about 17.1 million square kilometers. The Republic of Maldives is the smallest country with about 298 square kilometers and the least populated one with an estimated population of about 330,000 in 2012.

Asia (particularly East Asia) has exhibited economic dynamism as well as robust population growth during the 20 th century. Given its size and diversity, oral diseases may vary geographically. In addition, Asia varies greatly across and within its regions with regard to ethnic groups, cultures, environments, economics, and historical ties. All those factors may affect oral health and disease of people in the continent.

Most publications on oral diseases are from researchers in western countries. However, it is well accepted that many oral diseases are mediated by a combination of factors involving inherited and acquired genetic factors, nature and efficacy of an individual's immune responses, environmental factors including under-nutrition and over-nutrition, and infectious agents. Thus, there may be differences in prevalence of particular oral conditions found in Asian people compared to those in western countries. For instance, oral submucous fibrosis (OSMF), a rare condition in western people, is relatively common in India due to areca nut chewing habit combined with poor nutritional status, which may be a promoting factor in the presence of the habit. The evidence for various treatment modalities for OSMF is weak, hence better documentation of the studies performed with standardized criteria is required. [1]

In term of oral cancer, Maldives and Sri Lanka ranks the two highest in Asia while Papua New Guinea ranks the highest in the world. [2] Incidence of oral cancer is also relatively high in India with 75,000-80,000 cases reported each year. [3]

In term of HIV infection, Asia has been affected with the second highest prevalence after Sub-Saharan Africa. Differences in prevalence of oral lesions seen in HIV infection have been noted among the infected Thai people compared to those found in western countries either before or in the era of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). [4],[5] For example, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma has been reported as the most common neoplasm found in HIV-infected individuals in Thailand while Kaposis's sarcoma is the most common one in western countries. Periodontal diseases in HIV-infected people in Thailand have not been shown as severe destruction of periodontal tissues as previously described by the EC-Clearinghouse. [6] In addition, although oral human papillomavirus (HPV) infection has been frequently reported in western countries in HAART era, [7],[8] HPV-related oral lesions are relatively uncommon in Thai people living with HIV. [5]

As HIV infection is the global health problem with relatively high prevalence in Asia, the World Workshop on Oral Health and Disease in AIDS was held consecutively in Asian countries three times; in Phuket, Thailand in 2004; in Beijing, China in 2009; and recently in Hyderabad, India in 2014. After the most recent meeting in Hyderabad, where old friends and colleagues from different Asian countries had opportunity to meet again, the idea of establishing a new group of researchers in Asia has been proposed. The reason given was that Asia is the largest continent on earth with 60% of the world population. Oral diseases seen in Asian people can be different from region to region and different from those found in Western countries. Thus, it is time to set up a new organization under the name "Oral Diseases Group of Asia (ODGA)" to bring together researchers in the field of oral medicine, oral pathology, oral biology, and dental public health from different Asian countries who are interested in research on oral health and diseases. In addition, as oral health is an integral part of general health, and oral diseases may be complex and influenced by various factors, it is important to have researchers from medicine, public health, medical sciences, and social sciences to join the group. Through annual scientific meetings of the ODGA, researchers can meet, discuss and exchange thoughts/ideas that could lead to research collaboration in this area. The first scientific meeting of the ODGA will be held in Beijing, China during October 16-18, 2015. It will certainly lead to the strong and everlasting scientific group of researchers in the largest and most populous continent on earth.

  References Top

Angadi PV. Little evidence that current interventions can benefit patients with OSMF. Evid Based Dent 2011;12:43.  Back to cited text no. 1
Johnson NW, Amarasinghe HK. Chapter 1 epidemiology and aetiology of head and neck cancers In: Bernier J, editor. Head and Neck Cancer: Multimodality Management. 2 nd ed. New York: Springer; 2011.  Back to cited text no. 2
Nair U, Bartsch H, Nair J. Alert for an epidemic of oral cancer due to use of the betel quid substitutes gutkha and pan masala: A review of agents and causative mechanisms. Mutagenesis 2004;19:251-62.  Back to cited text no. 3
Nittayananta W, Chungpanich S. Oral lesions in a group of Thai people with AIDS. Oral Dis 1997;3 Suppl 1:S41-5.  Back to cited text no. 4
Nittayananta W, Talungchit S, Jaruratanasirikul S, Silpapojakul K, Chayakul P, Nilmanat A, et al. Effects of long-term use of HAART on oral health status of HIV-infected subjects. J Oral Pathol Med 2010;39:397-406.  Back to cited text no. 5
Classification and diagnostic criteria for oral lesions in HIV infection. EC-Clearinghouse on Oral Problems Related to HIV Infection and WHO Collaborating Centre on Oral Manifestations of the Immunodeficiency Virus. J Oral Pathol Med 1993;22:289-91.  Back to cited text no. 6
Patton LL, McKaig R, Strauss R, Rogers D, Eron JJ Jr. Changing prevalence of oral manifestations of human immuno-deficiency virus in the era of protease inhibitor therapy. Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol Oral Radiol Endod 2000;89:299-304.  Back to cited text no. 7
Greenspan D, Canchola AJ, MacPhail LA, Cheikh B, Greenspan JS. Effect of highly active antiretroviral therapy on frequency of oral warts. Lancet 2001;357:1411-2.  Back to cited text no. 8


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