Article - Dental Health In America

Report of the Surgeon General

Oral Health in America: 
A Report of the Surgeon General

May 2000

On May 25, 2000, Surgeon General David Satcher released Oral Health in America:  A Report of the Surgeon General, the 51st Surgeon General's report issued since 1964, when Luther Terry issued his landmark report on tobacco and health. These reports have helped frame the science on vital health issues in a way that have helped educate, motivate and mobilize the public to more effectively deal with those issues.

In addition to a lack of awareness of the importance of oral health among the public, the report found a significant disparity between racial and socioeconomic groups in regards to oral health and ensuing overall health issues. Based upon these findings, the Surgeon General called for action to promote access to oral health care for all Americans, especially the disadvantaged and minority children found to be at greatest risk for severe medical complications resulting from minimal oral care and treatment.

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