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91% of US adults have had dental cavities

New figures have suggested that the majority of adults in the US have had problems with their oral health at some point, suggesting that dental hygiene is still an issue that needs tackling.

The data, released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP), found that 91 per cent of American adults over the age of 20 have suffered from dental cavities, while 27 per cent had left them untreated.

However, across demographic groups that rate rises sharply for African Americans (42 per cent) and Hispanics (36 per cent), according to the American Dental Association (ADA).

Speaking about the figures, president of the organisation Dr Maxine Feinberg said many Americans are not experiencing the best oral health, despite various advances in dentistry meaning it is much easier to prevent, detect and treat dental disease.

She said the fact this rate rises so significantly among some minority groups is “particularly disturbing” and highlights the need to better target and engage with these underserved populations.

Like many dental experts, the ADA highlights the importance of prevention when it comes to eliminating dental disease.

“We know that prevention works. While it is critical to treat disease that has already occurred, the public health community needs to increase its focus on proven means of preventing it,” Dr Feinberg said. 
“Community water fluoridation, sealant programs for children, teaching people how to take care of their families’ teeth and gums, and getting the greatest possible number of children and adults into dental homes are the keys to better oral health for everyone.”

The report highlights the need of dentists to make sure that the whole of their local community is engaged in oral health, and know the best ways to prevent and treat dental disease.

It shows that although countries like the US and UK are developed and many people assume that enough education is delivered surrounding oral health, more needs to be done to ensure people take their dental hygiene seriously.

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