The Journal of Dental Research recently published results from a National Health & Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), indicating that one out of two American adults over age 30 have periodontitis. The findings highlight the extent, severity and prevalence of periodontal disease in our population.
The findings reveal that over 47% of adults have periodontal disease, which jumps to 70% in adults over age 65. Men have a higher incidence than women (56% vs. 38%), with smokers at 64%.
What makes this survey unique is that the data collected was the first to use full-mouth periodontal examinations. Since 2003, the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) has been working closely with Centers For Disease Control (CDC) for an accurate accounting of periodontal disease in the U.S. The NHANES study was the first to use full-mouth periodontal examinations, rather than partial mouth protocols.
These findings support the need for greater awareness among our nation’s adults. Periodontal disease is the nation’s leading cause of adult tooth loss. Also, the relationship between periodontal disease and diseases such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes, create the need for periodontal disease to be acknowledged as a major public health concern.