CDC Study Shows 50% of Adults Need Periodontal Treatment

by maxtooth on September 5, 2012

Periodontal Gum DiseaseRecently the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published new and important findings that shows high prevalence rates of periodontal disease in the U.S., indicating that one out of two American adults over the age of 30 have periodontal disease.

The most recent data was collected from the 2009-2010 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), and was the first to use full-mouth periodontal examinations, whereas previous NHANES relied only on partial mouth periodontal examination protocol. The full-mouth periodontal examination protocol utilized in the 2009-2010 NHANES measured six sites per tooth for all teeth (except third molars) on 3743 participants, providing the most comprehensive evaluation of oral health amongst Americans ever conducted.

The findings from the 2009-2010 NHANES periodontal disease survey, published this month in the Journal of Dental Research, indicate that an overwhelming 47.2 percent, or 64.7 million American adults, have periodontal disease. This is almost two and half times as many people as have diabetes. The study found that 8.7% had mild periodontitis (2 sites greater than 4 mm pocket depth or one site greater than 5 mm), 30% had moderate periodontitis (2 or more sites equal to or greater than 5 mm pocket depth) and 8.5% had severe periodontitis (2 or more sites greater than 6 mm attachment loss and one or more sites with greater than 5 mm pocket depth).

The study shows that periodontal disease increases with age. In adults over the age of 65, the prevalence was 70.1 percent. With large numbers of Americans reaching 65 each day, this growing population needs to be monitored closely. Data also concludes periodontal disease is higher in men than women (56.4 percent vs. 38.4 percent). Other segments with high prevalence rates include current smokers (64.2 percent).

This study indicates that conducting full-mouth periodontal probings annually has the potential to increase our diagnosis of periodontal disease before it progresses to severe periodontitis and permit us to provide more comprehensive treatment to our patients, benefiting both them and our practice.

Identifying and treating our patients periodontal disease earlier can help them save their teeth and help prevent the infection and inflammation associated with many systemic diseases such as heart disease, stroke and Alzheimer?s disease.

Photo by: andybullock77

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