Epidemiology and Surveillance

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Topics: Epidemiology
Scott L Tomar, a profession at the University of Florida describes public health surveillance as the ongoing systematic collection, analysis, interpretation and dissemination of data regarding a health-related event for the use in public health action (Tomar, 2007). The information collected from surveillance is implemented in planning, evaluating and to put together research hypothesis (Tomar, 2007). He explains that this surveillance contributes and aids in the decrease of not only morbidity and mortality, but also the supervision in health improvement. Surveillance is a component of communication and organization for monitoring and preventing diseases and illnesses.
The United States does not have a surveillance program in place for periodontal disease. It is not being monitored state, country wide or even locally. These systems have been used for decades for other diseases; fortunately periodontal surveillance is just in its beginning stages. The Association of State and Territorial Dental Directors and the centers for disease control and Prevention’s Division of Oral Health created the NOHSS, National Oral Health Surveillance systems. This program assists in monitoring and determining the responsibility and/or consequence of oral diseases, delivery system and the water fluoridation at state and national levels. NOHSS also has implemented signs to look for in the surveillances which are, adult dental visits, tooth cleaning, tooth loss, fluoridation status, child caries experience, child untreated caries, dental sealants and cancer of the oral cavity and pharynx (Tomar, 2007). The risk factors for periodontal disease according to the NIDCR, National Institute of Dental Craniofacial Research are smoking, hormonal changes in girls and women, diabetes, diseases of cancer or aids and their treatments, medications, and genetic susceptibility. If these factors would be monitored and put into a data base this desased can be prevented or treated

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