Cavities and Missing Teeth Common in America

Dr.Alan Wishneff Boca Raton Florida Dentist Dr. Alan Wishneff D.D.S.
Restorative Dentistry / Oral Health
April 18, 2016

The field of dentistry is always finding new ways to help people maintain healthy teeth. There are always new advancements in dental techniques and better dental hygiene education. With all these achievements, the United States has seen the lowest rates of people with cavities in over two decades. However, not every population group has seen the same amount of improvement in dental health. New reported numbers estimate that at least 1 in 5 Americans have one or more untreated cavities in their mouth. The poorer you are, the more likely you are to be one of the many who have a cavity. Adults are also more likely to have an unknown cavity.

The populations that account for the majority of those not receiving proper dental care for cavities are non-Hispanics and Mexican-Americans. Over 60% of African-Americans have lost at least one tooth as a result of poor dental care, while fewer than 50% of white and Mexican-Americans have lost at least one tooth. Those not receiving care for their cavities are known as dental caries.

The National Center for Health Statistics composed a report from data collected by the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey through the years of 2005 and 2008. The following key points are based on random samplings of about 5,000 Americans.

  • Oral Health by Age
    • 20% of children aged 5 to 11 and 13% of teens between the ages of 12 and 19 had at least one untreated cavity.
    • 25% of adults between the ages of 20 and 44 had at least one untreated cavity.
    • 20% of adults over 65 had at least one untreated cavity.
    • 39% of children and 52% of teens had a dental restoration, such as a filling or root canal.
    • Restoration rates were nearly 90% for adults over 65
  • Oral Health by Ethnicity and Poverty Level
    • 34% of non-Hispanic blacks and 31% of Mexican-Americans had untreated cavities compared to 18% of whites.
    • Adults between 20 and 64 were more than twice as likely to have untreated cavities if they were living in poverty (42% vs. 17%).
    • 25% of children and teens living in poverty had untreated cavities.
    • Among adults, nearly 90% of whites had had dental restoration, compared to 68% of Mexican-Americans and 73% of non-Hispanic blacks.
    • Children and teens living in poorer households were much less likely to have sealants than children and teens in higher-income families (20%-22% vs. 32%).
    • 60% of adults in households living in poverty had lost at least one permanent tooth. 32% of non-Hispanic blacks over 65 had lost all their teeth, compared to 22% of whites and 16% of Mexican-Americans.

For more information about this topic or any other dental topic, contact Dr.Wishneff  at [email protected]  or call (561) 488-3111Dr. Alan Wishneff is a Boca Raton Dentist dedicated to bringing patients state-of-the-art dental care. As a cosmetic, family and restorative dentist, he helps patients enjoy a natural and healthy smile. He is trained in cosmetic dentistry, including porcelain veneers; advanced cosmetic bonding techniques; oral surgery; medical emergency procedures; advanced crown and bridge; advanced TMJ; implant dentistry; endodontics-root canals: utilization of most advanced dental materials. Dr, Wishneff and staff are dedicated to providing great smiles in Boca Raton for more than 30 years. After more than two decades of practicing dentistry in Boca Raton, Dr. Wishneff is more committed than ever to this community.