Oral health is fundamental to overall health, wellbeing and quality of life. A healthy mouth enables people to eat, speak and socialise without pain, discomfort or embarrassment. The impact of oral disease on people’s everyday lives is subtle and pervasive, influencing eating, sleeping, work and social roles. The prevalence and recurrences of these impacts constitute a silent epidemic. Australia's oral health is characterised by very good but worsening child oral health, high levels of oral disease among adults and major disparities in oral health and access to dental care between high and low income adults.