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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.



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