Oral Health Fast Facts during this Dental Hygiene Awareness Month
Here an overview of the importance of Dental hygiene!
Oral health is essential to general health and well-being.
Oral disease can cause pain and infections that may lead to problems with eating, speaking, and learning. It can also affect social interaction and employment potential.
The three oral conditions that most affect overall health and quality of life are cavities, severe gum disease, and severe tooth loss.
By age 8, over half of children (52%) have had a cavity in their primary (baby) teeth.
Low-income children are twice as likely to have cavities as higher-income children.
1 in 4 adults aged 20 to 64 currently has cavities.
Drinking fluoridated water and getting dental sealants (in childhood) prevent cavities and save money by avoiding expensive dental care.
Tobacco use and diabetes are two risk factors for gum disease.
On average, 34 million school hours are lost each year because of unplanned (emergency) dental care, and over $45 billion in US productivity is lost each year due to untreated dental disease.
Medical-dental integration between oral health and chronic disease prevention programs benefits patients and saves money.
Gum (periodontal) disease is an inflammatory disease that affects the hard and soft structures that support the teeth.
Gum disease is a leading cause of tooth loss.
Tooth loss may affect the ability to chew food and can get worse with the number and type of missing teeth—affecting a person’s diet quality.
Diabetes, tobacco use, a weakened immune system, and poor oral hygiene all increase a person’s risk for gum disease.
Mild gum disease can be controlled and treated with good oral hygiene and regular professional cleaning. More severe forms can also be treated successfully with consultation and treatment.
Nearly half (46%) of all adults aged 30 years or older show signs of gum disease; severe gum disease affects about 9% of adults.
Severe tooth loss—having 8 or fewer teeth—impacts the ability to eat meats, fruits, and vegetables, and presents yet another challenge to having a healthy diet.
One quarter (26%) of adults aged 65 or older have 8 or fewer teeth.
About 1 in 6 (17%) adults aged 65 or older have lost all of their teeth.
Total tooth loss among adults aged 65 or older decreased by more than 30% from 27% in 1999–2004 to 17% in 2011–2016.
Older adults who are poor, have less than a high school education, or are current cigarette smokers are more than 3 times as likely to have lost all their teeth as the comparison groups.
Cavities, also called tooth decay, are one of the greatest unmet health treatment needs.
Untreated cavities can cause pain and infections that may lead to problems with eating, speaking, playing, and learning.
Untreated cavities can lead to abscess (a severe infection) under the gums which can spread to other parts of the body and have serious, and in rare cases fatal, results.
Among children aged 6 to 8 years, over half (52%) have had a cavity in their primary (baby) teeth.
Children from low-income families are twice as likely to have untreated cavities as higher-income children.
Among adolescents aged 12 to 19, more than half (57%) have had a cavity in their permanent teeth.
Among adults aged 20 and older, about 90% have had at least one cavity.
1 in 4 adults aged 20 to 64 currently has at least one cavity.