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Oral Health

Many Americans do not have access to regular dental care. People who have the least access to preventive dental services and treatment have greater rates of oral diseases.1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 A person’s ability to access oral health care is associated with factors such as education level, income, and race/ethnicity.1 In general, people with lower levels of education and income, and people from specific racial/ethnic groups, have higher rates of oral disease.2, 3, 4, 5 Addressing social determinants is key in reducing health disparities and improving the health, including the oral health, of all Americans.

Persons with a Dental Visit by Family Income, 2014

The rate of a dental visit in the past 12 months for persons aged 2 years and over with family incomes 400% or more of the poverty threshold was twice that of the population who had family incomes less than 100% of the poverty threshold (age adjusted).
400% or more: 57.2%
Less than 100%: 28.7%

Data source: Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS), AHRQ.

Persons with a Dental Visit by Education, 2014

The rate of a dental visit in the past 12 months for persons aged 25 years and over with at least some college education was more than 3 times that of the population with less than a high school education (age adjusted).
At least some college: 57.9%
Less than high school: 17.7%

Data source: Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS), AHRQ.

Persons with a Dental Visit

In 2014, 43.2% of persons aged 2 years and over had a dental visit in the past 12 months (age adjusted).
Healthy People 2020 Target: 49.0%
Most Recent (2014): 43.2%
13.4% increase needed.

Data source: Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS), AHRQ.

References

  1. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Office of the Surgeon General. Oral health in America: A report of the Surgeon General. Rockville (MD): National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research; 2000, p. 33–59.
  2. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Office of the Surgeon General. Oral health in America: A report of the Surgeon General. Rockville (MD): National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research; 2000, p. 155–88.
  3. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A national call to action to promote oral health, Rockville (MD): National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research; 2003 May, p. 1–53. NIH Publication; no. 03-5303.
  4. Dye BA, Tan S, Smith V, et al. Trends in oral health status: United States, 1988–1994 and 1999–2004. Vital Health Stat. 2007 Apr;11(248):1–92.
  5. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Disparities in Oral Health [Internet]. 2017 Feb 14 [cited 2017 Aug 21]. Available from: https://www.cdc.gov/oralhealth/oral_health_disparities/index.htm
  6. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Oral Health: Working to Improve Oral Health for All Americans; At a glance 2016 [Internet]. Atlanta: CDC. c2016 [cited 2017 Aug 18]. Available from:http://www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/pdf/aag-oral-health.pdf