Nearly Half of Americans Suffer from Oral Disease

Recently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a study which investigated the occurrence of periodontitis in the U.S. population.  The study, “Prevalence of Periodontis in Adults in the United States: 2009 and 2010,” was published in the Journal of Dental Research and later described by Medical News Today.  The data was taken from a sample of approximately 3,742 adults, aged 30 and older with one or more natural teeth.  The study included a full-mouth examination, which made it the first of its kind nationally.  The results were both interesting and shocking, as nearly half of the population was found to be effected by this oral disease.

According to the sample, approximately 47% of the 64.7 million adults in the United States have periodontitis, with the bulk having moderate cases.  In adults aged 65 or older, nearly 65% were found to suffer from moderate or severe periodontitis, far higher than any previous national estimates.  William Giannobile, Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Dental Research, stated that the research also helped provide “an in-depth look at the socio-demographic breakdown of periodontal disease in U.S. adults.”  The disease was found to be more common in males, Hispanic Americans, those with less than a high school education, current smokers, and individuals below 100% Federal Poverty Levels.

Using the data provided, one can conclude that there are a significant number of individuals in the Miami, Florida area who could be afflicted with this oral disease.  Approximately 65% of the Miami population is of Hispanic or Latino origin, and about 23% have less than a high school education.  Furthermore, 14% of Miami’s residents are over the age of 65 and nearly 17% fall below the national poverty level.  These individuals are at the most risk, but those outside of these demographics are far from safe of contracting the disease.  Periodontitis is a very treatable and, in some cases, avoidable condition.  With proper dental hygiene and routine visits to the dentist, most can avoid the often painful occurrence of many oral diseases.

Written by Mark Paulsort

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