Percentage of children, 6 months - 20 years of age at the start of the measurement period, who have had tooth decay or cavities during the measurement period as determined by a dentist
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).
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 (Data Resource Center for Child and Adolescent Health, 2007).
Clinical Recommendation Statements
This is an outcome measure. As such, no clinical recommendations are included.