Chronic diseases are a growing burden to people, to health-care systems and to societies across the world. The rapid increase in the burden of chronic diseases is particularly prevalent in the developing countries. Periodontal disease is one of the two most important oral diseases contributing to the global burden of chronic disease. In addition to social determinants, periodontal health status is related to several proximal factors. Modifiable risk factors, such as tobacco use, excessive alcohol consumption, poor diet and nutrition, obesity, psychological stress and insufficient personal/oral hygiene, are important and these principal risk factors for periodontal disease are shared by other chronic diseases. The present monograph is devoted to the existing evidence on the practice of public health related to periodontal health. Public health is defined as the process of mobilizing and engaging local, national and international resources to assure that people can be healthy. Social determinants of health, environmental hazards and unhealthy lifestyles are prioritized in modern public health-care. Disease prevention and health promotion are cornerstones in actions for public health. This volume of Periodontology 2000 is entitled ‘Periodontal health and global public health’; the 12 articles of this volume discuss different aspects of this statement. It covers a range of subjects from public health issues to patient care. This monograph intends to stimulate community action research in the field of periodontology in order to help the development of appropriate public health intervention and relevant surveillance programs. It also expects to stimulate health authorities and professional organizations to initiate and support actions to promote periodontal health in their respective countries.