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Updated Statistics on Periodontal Disease Confirm High Adult Prevalence of Periodontitis in the US

CDCA new CDC report authored by Dr. Paul Eke and colleagues entitled, “Update on Prevalence of Periodontitis in Adults in the United States: NHANES 2009-2012,” published by the Journal of Periodontology confirms an earlier analysis that found a high level of prevalence of periodontitis in the U.S. adult population.


  • The report describes prevalence, severity, and extent of periodontitis in the US adult population using combined data from the 2009 to 2010 and 2011 to 2012 cycles of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES).
  • Estimates were derived for dentate adults, aged ‡30 years, from the US civilian noninstitutionalized population.
  • Periodontitis was defined by combinations of clinical attachment loss (AL) and periodontal probing depth (PD) from six sites per tooth on all teeth, except third molars, using standard surveillance case definitions.
  • For the first time in NHANES history, sufficient numbers of non-Hispanic Asians were sampled in 2011 to 2012 to provide reliable estimates of their periodontitis prevalence.

Study Findings

  • The study confirmed a high prevalence of periodontitis in US adults aged 30 years, with almost fifty-percent affected. The prevalence was greater in non-Hispanic Asians than non-Hispanic whites, although lower than other minorities.
  • The distribution provides valuable information for population-based action to prevent or manage periodontitis in US adults.

Detailed Results

  • In 2009 to 2012, 46% of US adults (64.7 million people) had periodontitis, with 8.9% having severe periodontitis.
  • Overall, 3.8% of all periodontal sites (10.6% of all teeth) had PD 4 mm, and 19.3% of sites (37.4% teeth) had AL 3 mm. Periodontitis prevalence was positively associated with increasing age and was higher among males.
  • Periodontitis prevalence was highest in Hispanics (63.5%) and non-Hispanic blacks (59.1%), followed by non-Hispanic Asian Americans (50.0%), and lowest in non-Hispanic whites (40.8%).
  • Prevalence varied two-fold between the lowest and highest levels of socioeconomic status, whether defined by poverty or education.


List of references (PDF)

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