Indonesia is the largest archipelago on Earth around 17.000 islands along equator. It hosts an enormous range of ethnic, linguistic, cultural, genetic, dietary, geographical, and natural diversity. Tropical rainforest climate supports tremendous biodiversity of animal and plant life. At least 29,375 species of vascular plants and more than 3,000 known species of animals are endemic to the islands. It has been estimated at 40 percent of APEC’s biodiversity and boasts the world’s third highest biodiversity.

Biodiversity or biological diversity, is the term used to describe the variety of life on earth, including animal, plant and microbial species. Biodiversity and health interactions are manifested at multiple scales from individuals, through communities and landscapes to a planetary scale. Indonesian herbal treatment has been long time existed, especially in rural areas. It has been a tradition for Javanese people in Yogyakarta to improve their health condition using herbal mixtures. The in vitro, in vivo and clinical studies on medical plants that are used in jamu have been grown and some of them have been scientifically proved their claimed biological activities. Many herbal treatments from plant and plant-derived antimicrobial agents are used as traditional medicines for periodontal disease and for the purposes of oral hygiene. Some of them have been researched for possible use in modern medicine, while thousands of other potentially useful plants have not yet been evaluated.

Dental disease incidence in Indonesia is still considerably high. The 2013 household health survey report indicates that the prevalence of caries was 25.9% with an average Decayed Missing Filling Teeth (DMF-T) of 4.6. The use of herbs as dietary supplements and as a treatment modality in dentistry is an emerging trend. Many of them have antibacterial, antimycosal, and antiviral properties. Some research proved that it is not only healing and reducing bacterial count in the oral cavity but also strenthening the immunity. Thus, Indonesia with abundance resource of plants and herbal treatments can be huge potential to create new way of treatment for dental disease.

The Faculty of Dentistry UGM, will offer various courses in Biodiversity and Oral Health. This will be 6th consecutive year the Dental Summer Course has been offer. These courses are designed to offer sharing knowledge, experience to which dentist and dental hygienist may not have been adequately exposed during their study. For those currently in or seeking knowledge or other experience in Biodiversity and Oral Health, our program offers an opportunity to learn the unique benefit of biodiversity to oral health as well as various oral health problems in community.