Archive for category Dental Health Improving
According to the latest report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Americans have less tooth decay and tooth less than only a decade ago.
The findings obtained from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), which estimates the amount of tooth decay (cavities), prevention techniques, and tooth loss from cross-sectional national survey. Although the overall trend is positive, some sectors remain high-risk demographics.
“This survey is the oral health of 256 million Americans,” said Dr. Bruce Pihlstrom, DDS, acting director of the division of clinical research and health promotion at NIH’s National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. “While the findings are encouraging, the report clearly tells us that further effort is needed to improve the oral health of low-income Americans.”
Although the percentage of children who never cavities in permanent teeth decreased by fifteen percent since 1994-32 percent of Mexican-Americans and 27 percent of African American children ages 2 to 11 had untreated decay compared to 18 percent for children Caucasian children.
For low-income adults, more than a third have untreated tooth decay compared with 16 percent for high-income adults.
There is more bad news for smokers with 14 percent of current smokers older than 20 years have lost all their teeth compared with 4.6 percent among smokers.
One reason cited for improvement are dental sealants. This groove-sealing resin to keep the decay-causing bacteria from penetrating the vulnerable gap in the teeth. Again, the level of income makes a difference. 37.9 percent of white children had at least one seal while the 23.4 Mexican-American children and 22.6 African American children have at least one sealant.
Surveys show that much progress has been made in a relatively short time because of sealants, fluoride treatments, patient education, an increasing number of school programs on oral health, and the hard work and dedication of the dentist. Also clear is the need to continue to reach even more of the population with education and prevention.