The present epidemiological study was carried out 700 national servicemen doing service at the barracks Carlo Alberto Dalla Chiesa of Fosano (Cuneo) in the period April-August 1989, for the purposes of determining the state of oral health in a large sample of the Italian young male population and the diffusion of actions aimed at caries prophylaxis. The DMF index of the group in question is 7.14. 83.44% of DMF teeth were subjected to conservative dental treatment, 5.58% were extracted and 10.98% presented ongoing processes of caries requiring treatment. The results obtained show that, although caries is still very widespread in Italy in relation to other European countries and the United States, considerable progress has been made compared to the past as regards the secondary prevention of the pathology. Nevertheless, much remains to be done for the primary prophylaxis of caries. These data were confirmed by those obtained on periodontopathies. Although, the serious forms of periodontal disease in youth are very rare, very few conscripts are aware of the most elementary principles of oral hygiene.