Grass-Root Smile Initiatives (G.S.I) was founded in the year 2005 through the collective efforts of some oral health professionals in Nigeria to advance the cause of oral health delivery in Nigeria.
The Nigeria oral health profile differs today from what was previously perceived (dental and periodontal diseases). Widespread poverty and under development has resulted in many malnourished or undernourished children with compromised immune systems. Increased used of tobacco products, alcohol, as well as changes in dietary habit are key determinants of the state of oral health.
There are serious oral health problems which need urgent attention in Nigeria either because of their high prevalence or because of the severe damage or death that arises from them.
This include Cancrum Oris (NOMA) and associated with Acute Necrotizing Ulcerative Gingivitis (ANUG), Oral cancer; HIV/AIDS, Maxillofacial Trauma, Fluorosis, Congenital malformations and harmful traditional practices in the oral cavity.
Nigeria ranks among the poorest in oral health manpower in the world. About 70% of Nigerians reside in the rural areas however virtually all the available resources for oral health care are in the urban cities. The majority of people that visit the very few oral health facilities in the urban cities, present late stages of oral disease with very poor prognosis and which are very expensive to treat.
Presently oral health care programmes virtually does not exist at the primary level of health care in this in this country.