In the US population, close to half of all individuals 30 years and older suffer from periodontitis – a prevalence likely to increase in the coming years, since the population ages and retains more teeth.
This study is looking into self-awareness of gum disease among US adults. The study population included 6876 individuals, all 30 years or older, and considered representative for the US population. All participants answered the question “Do you think you might have gum diseases?” with yes or no.1293 persons answered yes, and the other 5583 answered no. Their answers were correlated to the clinical presence of periodontitis, defined as the sum of mild, moderate and severe forms of periodontitis. Gingivitis was not included in the analysis.
Among those who were diagnosed with periodontitis, 27% were aware that they suffered from the disease, and awareness was the highest in the group diagnosed with severe periodontitis. Nevertheless, in the group which had moderate and severe periodontitis, 72% were not aware that they had gum disease.
In older participants, periodontitis was more prevalent, but awareness was lower. The probability to be aware of having periodontitis was shown to be higher among patients with a diabetes diagnosis, with lung disease and among smokers. Awareness was also higher among women than men.
The conclusion in this study is that self-awareness of gum disease is low in the adult US population. The authors stress the importance of raising knowledge of oral health and awareness to improve prevention and early diagnosis of periodontitis.
A summary of a scientific article
This summary of a scientific study by Luo H and Wu B. is presented by Anna Nilvéus Olofsson, DDS, Manager Odontology and Scientific Affairs. Click here for more information.