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Update on Prevalence of Periodontitis in Adults in the United States: NHANES 2009 – 2012
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  • Alternative Title:
    J Periodontol
  • Description:

    Estimates were derived for dentate adults 30 years and older from the civilian non-institutionalized population. Periodontitis was defined by combinations of clinical attachment loss (CAL) and periodontal probing depth (PPD) 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 2011–2012 to provide reliable estimates of their periodontitis prevalence.


    In 2009–2012, 46% of US adults representing 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 PPD≥4 mm and 19.3% of sites (37.4% teeth) had CAL≥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.


    This study confirms a high prevalence of periodontitis in US adults aged 30 years and older. 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 periodontitis in US adults.

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