SIGNIFICANT PUBLIC HEALTH CONCERN: HALF of American Adults Suffer from Periodontal Disease
A recent study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revealed one out of every two American adults (aged 30+) has periodontal disease. The estimated 47.2 percent of American adults with the disease translates to about 64.7 million Americans.
This is the most accurate picture of periodontal disease status in the U.S. we’ve ever seen. The recent CDC study included full mouth periodontal examinations, whereas previous studies relied only on partial mouth periodontal examinations. Because periodontal disease is not always evenly distributed throughout the mouth, previous prevalence data has been severely underestimated.
It’s more important than ever for dental professionals to communicate to their patients that periodontal disease has become a significant public health concern and has been linked to a person’s overall health. Are your patients aware of the fact that periodontal disease can lead to tooth loss if left untreated? Do they understand the disease has been linked to other chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes?
Moreover, findings show there are some demographics at higher risk than others. Periodontal disease is higher in men than women (56.4 percent vs. 38.4 percent) and is highest in Mexican-Americans (66.7 percent) compared to other races. Other segments with high prevalence rates include current smokers (64.2 percent); those living below the federal poverty level (65.4 percent); and those with less than a high school education (66.9 percent).
All of this information further supports the need for dental professionals to perform a comprehensive periodontal evaluation on patients annually to determine their disease status. The truth is, many patients have periodontal disease and they don’t even know it!
The following infographic can be helpful in communicating this information to patients. If you’d like The Dental Geek to send you a high-resolution file of the infographic to be shared on your website, through e-mail, or to be printed for the office, please leave a comment below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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