The American Dental Hygienists' Association (ADHA) said the new report on the results of the National Health Center and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), 2011-2012, demonstrates the need for more preventive oral healthcare. The survey found that 91% of U.S. adults ages 20 to 64 have dental caries.
"This report reinforces the need for greater attention to prevention as it relates to oral health," stated ADHA President Kelli Swanson Jaecks, RDH, in a press release. "Effective strategies for assessing caries risk and management are well-documented in current scientific literature, and yet the condition remains prevalent, and is even increasing in vulnerable populations."
The survey also found that the prevalence of older Americans with complete tooth loss has declined by around 40% in 50 years. As of the 2011-2012 survey, only 13% of those ages 65 to 74 years were edentulous.
"People are living longer, and the factors that affect oral and overall health are becoming increasingly complex as the American population ages," stated ADHA Executive Director Ann Battrell, MSDH. "The information from this data brief allows oral healthcare providers to use an evidence-based approach to preventive oral health are and disease management. Our collective efforts can improve the public's overall health and quality of life."