Creating a free account will enable you to subscribe to our daily and weekly email newsletters, as well as customize your reading experience to show only the categories most relevant to you.
Signing up only take a few minutes, so why not give it a try and see what you've been missing out on.
The uptake rate of preventative dental care increased over a ten-year period in the United States, but there remains a large disparity among ethnic groups, reports one of the largest and most comprehensive studies on the subject, published in the open-access journal Frontiers in Public Health.
Neglect of dental care can have serious consequences like decay, inflammation, and loss of teeth, and an increased risk of malnutrition. Gum disease has been implicated in an increased risk of cardiovascular and respiratory disease. Easy access to affordable preventive dental care - in the form of regular checkups and cleanings by dentists or dental hygienists - can help to improve the quality of life of a population.
Oral health is particularly important in a rapidly aging population, because middle-aged and older people are more likely to develop chronic conditions and complications. Yet few studies have focused on the dental health-practices of older persons.
In a new study, Professor Bei Wu, Director for International Research at Duke University's School of Nursing, and her colleagues analyzed self-reported oral health behaviors of almost 650,000 middle-aged and elderly Americans in a phone survey conducted between 1999 to 2008 by the National Center for Statistics and Prevention. This study is the first to compare dental care between Caucasians, Hispanics, African Americans, Asian Americans, and Native Americans.
Respondents were asked when they last had their teeth cleaned by a professional, because dental cleaning is a commonly used indicator of access to dental services. They were also asked about their gender, age, marital status, income, education, ethnicity, weight, general health, number of teeth removed, and drinking and smoking habits.
Results show that the number of people who received preventive dental care underwent a slight yearly increase in all five ethnic groups. But there is a long way to go, as 23% to 43% of Americans received no preventive dental care in 2008, depending on ethnicity.
Key findings include:
The researchers conclude that it is imperative to develop public dental health programs that target middle-aged and elderly Americans, improve dental care access, and to train a dental workforce that is culturally competent.
The National Institute of Health and the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research funded the study.
Front. Public Health, 17 December 2013 | doi: 10.3389/fpubh.2013.00065
Article adapted by Medical News Today from original press release. Click 'references' tab above for source.
Visit our Dentistry category page for the latest news on this subject.
Please use one of the following formats to cite this article in your essay, paper or report:
Frontiers. "Improvements needed in preventive dental care in the USA." Medical News Today. MediLexicon, Intl., 23 Dec. 2013. Web.
16 Apr. 2014. <http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/270348>
Frontiers. (2013, December 23). "Improvements needed in preventive dental care in the USA." Medical News Today. Retrieved from
Please note: If no author information is provided, the source is cited instead.
If you write about specific medications, operations, or procedures please do not name healthcare professionals by name.
For any corrections of factual information, or to contact our editorial team, please use our feedback form. Please send any medical news or health news press releases to:
Note: Any medical information published on this website is not intended as a substitute for informed medical advice and you should not take any action before consulting with a health care professional. For more information, please read our terms and conditions.
This page was printed from: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/270348.php
Visit www.medicalnewstoday.com for medical news and health news headlines posted throughout the day, every day.
© 2004-2014 All rights reserved. MNT (logo) is the registered trade mark of MediLexicon International Limited.