Cadernos de Saúde Pública
Print version ISSN 0102-311X
SILVA, Andréa Neiva da; MENDONCA, Maria Helena Magalhães de and VETTORE, Mario Vianna. A salutogenic approach to oral health promotion. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 2008, vol.24, suppl.4, pp. s521-s530. ISSN 0102-311X. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-311X2008001600005.
Theoretical frameworks on health promotion focusing on social determinants of oral health have highlighted promising approaches for improving the oral health of populations and reducing inequities in oral health. In the last two decades the salutogenic theory has gained ground in the field of health promotion, but not in oral health promotion. Instead of focusing on risk factors and behavior change, the theory highlights the importance of resources and the ability to use them. The model's central construct, sense of coherence (SOC), suggests explanations of the relationship between life stressors and health status. The stronger the SOC, the more successfully people will cope with stressors and thus maintain their health. This paper discusses the potential of the salutogenic theory to guide the development of actions in the five fields of oral health promotion: creating supportive environments; promoting health through public policy; strengthening community action; developing personal skills; and reorienting health services. The theory can serve as a framework for oral health promotion measures that strengthen the available resources, create better ones, and enable people to identify and benefit from them.
Keywords : Health Promotion; Oral Health; Social Conditions.