Percentage of children, age 0-20 years, who have had tooth decay or cavities during the measurement period
Dental caries is the most chronic disease among youth aged 6-19 years. Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 2015-2016 showed that approximately 45.8% of children and youth aged 2-19 years had total caries (untreated and treated). Prevalence of total dental caries (untreated and treated) in primary or permanent teeth increases with age, going from 21.4%, 50.5%, and 53.8% among ages 2-5, 6-11, and 12-19, respectively. Total dental caries was highest in Hispanic youths aged 2-19 at 57.1% compared to 48.1% for non-Hispanic black, 44.6% for non-Asian, and 40.4% for non-Hispanic white youth Monitoring prevalence of untreated and total caries is vital to preventing and controlling oral disease (Fleming & Afful, 2018).
Clinical Recommendation Statements
Children who have dental decay or cavities are less likely to be in very good or excellent overall health than children without decay or cavities (Edelstein & Chinn, 2009). Children with decay are also more likely to have other oral health problems such as toothaches, broken teeth, and bleeding gums (Child and Adolescent Health Measurement Initiative, 2007).