A new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found that nearly 50 percent of American adults over 30 suffer from some version of periodontal disease. That’s one out of every two adults that have some form of periodontitis, whether it’s mild or severe. Of those adults the study surveyed, 8.7 percent had mild cases of periodontitis, 30 percent had moderate, and 8.5 percent had severe cases. For older adults, those over 65 years of age, the rate of periodontal disease jumped to over 70 percent.
Of course, the research found that some demographics of the population were more prevalent toward periodontal disease than others. Over 56 percent of men were found to have periodontitis compared to 38 percent of women. The disease was also found to be more prevalent among Mexican-Americans, smokers, people without college education, and those who live below the national poverty level.
“Periodontal disease is associated with age and as Americans live longer and retain more of their natural teeth, periodontal disease may take on more prominence in the oral health of the U.S. adult population in the future,” said Paul Eke, lead author of the study and epidemiologist at CDC. “Our findings support a need for public health programs to improve the oral health of adults,” he added.
This increased rate of periodontal disease coincides with other recent surveys that found that fewer people are seeing the dentist as often as they should, if at all. The reasons for this are large in number, from the economy being poor to people to losing dental insurance. It’s a shame that many feel like they must cut out dental care in order to make ends meet, as not caring for your teeth as it can lead to periodontal disease, which is more costly to treat than an annual dental visit. And as we’ve discussed at great length, periodontal disease can lead to other health problems, including diabetes and cardiac disease.