Researchers at the University of Southern California found that the prevalence of dental disease among older Americans has increased by 13% since 2010.
In the last two decades, dental problems like cavities, tooth decay and abscesses were relatively common among the US population.
But as the country has become more urban, those rates have dropped, with the rate of dental problems rising to 19% from 11% in the 1980s, according to a paper published Wednesday in the journal PLOS ONE.
“Dental disease is becoming a bigger issue than ever,” said lead author R. Kelly Brown, an associate professor of dentistry at USC.
“Dental health issues, like dental caries and cavities are a bigger threat than ever, and they’re increasingly becoming more prevalent among older people.”
The paper was co-authored by researchers from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the University at Buffalo, which conducted the analysis using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), a nationally representative survey of Americans.
In 2020, the rate for people aged 65 and older was 18.5% – the highest level in two decades.
And the increase in dental disease rates among older adults is more than twice the rate among people in their 20s and 30s.
The rate of dentinitis was 12% for the oldest adults in 2020.
The report also found that there was a dramatic increase in the rate and incidence of dental cariomyopathy, a disease characterized by abscessing tooth enamel.
This is a complication of tooth decay caused by plaque buildup in the tooth surface.
Brown said that the disease rates are much higher among older persons than those aged 20-24, and this is especially true among younger people, who have less time to get dental care.
Dental caries is an autoimmune disease, and it causes an inflammatory response that destroys tooth enamels.
It is thought that this causes the buildup of plaque in the enamel, which can lead to decay of teeth and cavies.
Dentists can diagnose dental carious disease by performing a test called an oral computed tomography (OCT) scan.
A CT scan can show the presence of an inflammatory plaque, which typically occurs when there is a buildup of a virus called plaque-related glycoprotein (PRGP).
Brown and his colleagues compared data from NHANES data with data from a national database that collected data from more than 100 million adults.
In that study, there were 2.7 million people aged 60 or older who had dental caried, or were suspected of having dental carying, according the report.
In 2020, there was an average of 746,000 people aged 70 or older with dental carie, or suspected of caries.
Brown said the finding that dental cariness has increased with age is interesting because it is a relatively new finding, and also because dental cariers have historically had less access to care.
In addition, he said, the findings suggest that there is more variation in how people with dental problems are treated.
People are more likely to see dentists, or see dentist-diagnosed conditions, in the hospital, he noted.
The paper did not include data on age and gender, which are likely to be more relevant to the study’s conclusions because of differences in dental care among men and women, he added.DENTISTRY PROBLEMS The study found that more than half of people aged 50-64 had dental problems.
About 2.9 million people in that age group were suspected, with about 1.4 million having suspected caries, the study found.
About 7% of people in this age group had dental issues, but there was no difference in prevalence between males and females, according