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The Centers for Disease Control Study Indicates that 50% of US Adults Have Periodontal Disease

A new study, published in the Journal of Dental Research, indicates that half of the U.S. adult population has some form of periodontal disease. One out of every two American adults age 30 or older has periodontal disease, according to a new study published in the Journal of Dental Research.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention collected data as part of studies designed to assess the health and nutritional status of adults and children in the United States. The data indicated that almost 65 million American adults have some form of periodontal disease. The rate increases to 70% for Americans over the age of 65.

The American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) has been working closely with the Centers for Disease Control since 2003 to determine the extent, severity, and prevalence of periodontal disease in the United States.

"This is the most accurate picture of periodontal disease in the U.S. adult population we have ever had." Dr. Pamela McClain, President of the AAP said that, "We now have a precise measure of the prevalence of periodontal disease and can better understand the true severity and extent of periodontal disease in our country". Additionally, "This is the most accurate picture of periodontal disease in the U.S. adult population we have ever had."

The study indicated some differences among certain segments of the U.S. population. Periodontal disease is higher in men than women (56.4% versus 38.4%) and is highest in Mexican-Americans (66.7%). Other segments with high prevalence rates include current Smokers also had a higher rate (64.2%) and those with less than a high school education (66.9%).

Co-author of the study, Dr. Robert Genco, believes these findings elevate periodontal disease as a public health concern. "We now know that periodontal disease is one of the most prevalent noncommunicable chronic diseases in our population, similar to cardiovascular disease and diabetes," he said.

Dr. McClain of the AAP added "Many of our patients have periodontal disease and do not know it. As dental professionals, it is more important than ever that we provide patients with a comprehensive periodontal evaluation annually to determine their disease status."

For more information about periodontal disease, please click here.

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