Ciência & Saúde Coletiva
On-line version ISSN 1678-4561
MOREIRA, Rafael da Silveira; NICO, Lucélia Silva and TOMITA, Nilce Emy. The relation between space and collective oral health: for a georeferenced epidemiology. Ciênc. saúde coletiva [online]. 2007, vol.12, n.1, pp. 275-284. ISSN 1678-4561. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1413-81232007000100031.
The influence of the environment on health is an ancient human concern. From the Hippocratic texts to today, the concept of space permitted and still permits different representations and forms of perception. Overcoming the natural conception of space as only an inert and passive environment, the idea of a socially constructed geographic space, both as a receiver of social processes as much as being its own activator in these processes, becomes ever more relevant in the comprehension of phenomena involved in the health-disease process. In this sense, epidemiology is presented as a privileged reference point in the articulation of place-time-people elements. This reflexive investigation seeks to explore the relations established between space (social and geographical) and Collective Oral Health, emphasizing the role of territory in the reproduction of iniquities in health and the necessity of developing studies that approach space as a constitutive element in the oral health-disease process. In what could be termed a georeferenced epidemiology, the spatial expression of events of oral health-disease and of the actors involved in this process strengthens the importance of territory (and its various significations) to Collective Oral Health.
Keywords : Oral Health; Epidemiology; Geographic Information Systems.