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60+ Oral Health Statistics in 2023

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General Oral Health Statistics and Facts

According to the CDC, “Oral health refers to the health of the teeth, gums, and the entire oral-facial system that allows us to smile, speak, and chew.” 

Oral health affects overall health since many oral diseases can affect other conditions and disease management efforts. 

Yet, oral health statistics show that oral diseases harm nearly 3.5 billion people – almost half the world’s population. 

This shows that improvements in access to dental care and health coaching about oral wellbeing are crucial. Not only to improve people’s dental health but also their overall wellness and quality of life. 

  • More than 40% of people experienced pain in their mouths sometime in the last 12 months. (CDC, 2022) 
  • 80% of people develop at least one cavity until turning 34. (CDC, 2022) 
  • About two in five Britons don’t make regular dentist visits. (Dental Health, 2022) 
  • 25% of UK adults don’t brush their teeth with fluoride toothpaste twice daily. (Dental Health, 2022) 
  • Six million people in the UK experienced toothache for longer than two weeks. (Dental Health, 2022) 
  • 400 commonly used medications cause a dry mouth and increase oral disease risk. (CDC*)  
  • The most common causes of tooth loss are gum disease or tooth cavities. (CDC*) 
  • In 2020, there were 377,713 new cases of oral cancer globally. (WHO, 2020) 

Oral Health Problems

According to oral health statistics, the most common oral health problems people face today are caries, oral cancers, periodontal diseases, oro-dental trauma, cleft lip and palate, and noma. 

Most oral diseases and conditions share the same risk factors as heart disease, cancer, chronic respiratory disease, and diabetes, including tobacco use, unhealthy diet, and alcohol consumption. 

  • 47.2% of people over 30 have some type of gum disease, most commonly periodontitis or plaque-induced gingivitis. (CDC, 2022)  
  • Men are more likely than women to have severe gum disease. (CDC*) 
  • The most severe gum diseases are most common among people at the lowest socioeconomic level. (CDC*) 
  • Periodontal diseases are more common in men (56.4%) than in women (38.4%), poorer individuals (65.4%), and smokers (64.2%). (CDC, 2022) 
  • Periodontitis increases the risk of developing diabetes. (Journal of Clinical Medicine, 2021) 
  • The prevalence of periodontitis among people with type 1 diabetes is 78.8%, compared to 70.5% among those with type 2 diabetes. (Journal of Clinical Medicine, 2021) 
  • About 31,000 Americans are diagnosed with oral and pharyngeal cancer yearly. Around 7,400 of the cases result in death. (CDC*) 
  • According to estimates, 54,010 Americans, out of which 38,000 men, and 15,210 women, have oral cavity and pharynx cancers. The average survival rate five years after diagnosis is 57%. (The Oral Cancer Foundation, 2022) 
  • The most common oral cancer types are squamous cell carcinomas accounting for 90% of cases, followed by ACC and MEC, which are rarer. (The Oral Cancer Foundation, 2022) 
  • Only 23% of Britons are aware of mouth cancer’s major signs and symptoms (Dental Health, 2022) 
  • Merely 13% of people in the UK know what risk factors cause mouth cancer. (Dental Health, 2022) 
  • About one billion people have experienced trauma to their teeth at some point in life. (PubMed, 2018) 
  • According to estimates, there are 140,000 new cases of noma each year. (WHO, 2022) 
  • About 90% of noma cases are fatal due to lack of treatment. (WHO, 2022) 
  • In the UK, the average number of children born with cleft lip or palate in one year is 1,077. (CRANE, 2021) 
  • The most common type of cleft is cleft palate (44%), followed by cleft lip (24%) and unilateral cleft lip and palate (22%). The rarest type is a bilateral cleft lip and palate (10%). (CRANE, 2021) 
  • In the US, one in 1,600 babies is born with a cleft lip with cleft palate, 1 in 2,800 has a cleft lip without cleft palate, and 1 in 1,700 is born with a cleft palate. (CDC, 2022) 

Children’s Oral Health Statistics

Good dental care starts even before children get their teeth.  

Taking care of the gums before the first tooth appears is just as essential to eliminate harmful bacteria since oral bacteria can be very dangerous and cause infections and even diseases. 

  • In the UK, 10.7% of 3-year-olds had experienced dental decay. The prevalence was the highest in Yorkshire and the Humber at a rate of 14.7%. (Public England Health, 2020) 
  • On average, the number of teeth with untreated decay was 2.6. (Public England Health, 2020) 
  • The rate of filled teeth with decay across the UK was 4.4%, varying between 2.5% to 6.4% for different regions. (Public England Health, 2020) 
  • 7.2% of children with tooth decay disease had their teeth removed, with an average of 2.9 extracted teeth. (Public England Health, 2020) 
  • On average, children miss three days of school because of dental issues. (OHID, 2022) 
  • 67% of parents say their children have experienced pain due to dental problems. (OHID, 2022) 
  • 38% of children couldn’t sleep at night because of tooth issues. (OHID, 2022) 
  • In the US, more than 50% of children between six and eight and more than half of adolescents have had a cavity in their primary teeth. (CDC, 2022) 
  • 25% of children from low-income households develop cavitied compared to 11% from higher-income families. (CDC, 2022) 
  • The number of children between the ages of one to seventeen who visited a dentist for an exam or cleaning in the span of a year decreased from 83.8% in 2019 to 80.9% in 2020. (NCHS, 2021) 
  • The highest decrease of 7.3% was recorded among children between one and four years old. (NCHS, 2021) 

Older Adult Oral Health Statistics

The elder populator often neglects to keep good oral hygiene because of other healthcare needs they have. As a result, they develop various oral diseases which impact their overall health and quality of life. 

However, the biggest reason for bad teeth health problems among older people is the lack of access to dental care due to insufficient finances, unavailability of transport, or need for assistance to navigate dental services. 

  • 280 million adults over 70 are affected by oral disorders. (GBD, 2019) 
  • The global prevalence of dental caries among elders is 49%. (Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health, 2021)  
  • The lowest caries rate is measured in Australia (25%), whereas the highest is in South Africa (99%). (Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health, 2021) 
  • The prevalence rate of root caries in China is 62% and 46% in India. (Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health, 2021) 
  • Untreated root caries rates are lowest in Finland (8%) and highest in Brazil (74%). (Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health, 2021) 
  • 25% of US adults older than 60 don’t have natural teeth. (CDC*)  
  • 42% of more senior Americans from West Virginia are toothless, whereas the rate is 13% among those from California. (CDC*) 
  • Tooth decay in adults over 60 is more frequent than in children. (CDC*) 
  • Around 23% of Americans between 65 and 74 have severe gum disease. (CDC*) 
  • Older Americans who are economically deprived, lack health insurance, and are members of minorities have the poorest oral health. (CDC*) 

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Dental Hygiene and Infection Prevention

Maintaining good dental hygiene is crucial with oral diseases affecting and causing various conditions. 

Poor dental hygiene symptoms include bad breath, bleeding gums, tooth pain, dry mouth, teeth discoloration, and sensitivity to cold or hot food and drinks. 

Certain habits, methods, and products help a person’s oral health and prevent infections and diseases. 

  • Antiseptic mouthwash products are 4.6 times more effective than flossing. (Listerine Professional, 2022) 
  • Fluoride varnish can hinder the development of cavities in baby teeth by 33%. (CDC, 2022) 
  • Dental sealants on chewing surfaces of teeth can prevent 80% of cavities. (CDC, 2022) 
  • Decreasing the consumption of carbohydrates in the form of simple sugars reduces the likelihood of developing caries. (Pub Med, 2021) 
  • Fluoridated water protects the teeth and decreases tooth decay by 25%. (CDC, 2022) 
oral health statistics

Adult Dental Health Programs and Services

The cost of dental services is a notable reason why people often avoid dental professionals and treatments. Thus, countries should support their citizens’ oral health by providing them with dental health programs to facilitate more accessible dental services. 

  • 60% of US states have an oral health plan in place. (CDC, 2021) 
  • The CDC funds an average of $370,000 per year for five years to 20 state health departments in an effort to decrease poor oral health. (CDC, 2019) 
  • Australia provides free access to oral health care services to eligible people. (Queensland Government, 2022) 
  • Canada is developing a dental benefit that would cover a certain amount of dental costs for children under 12, depending on a family’s net income. (Government of Canada, 2022) 
  • In 2020, 27% of dental providers offered adult dental services through telehealth platforms. (Care Quest, 2021) 

Dental Health Programs and Return of Investment

The US spends more than $124 billion on dental care yearly. 

Oral health statistics show that well-designed dental health programs can help reduce dental costs and yield significant ROI for countries. 

  • Providing fluoridated water for one year has an ROI of $20 for every dollar spent and can save the US $6.5 billion in direct and indirect dental costs. (CDC, 2021) 
  • Access to fluorinated water reduces cavities by 25% and saves $32 per person yearly by avoiding treatments and missing work or school. (CDC, 2021) 
  • Integrating oral health and chronic disease prevention programs can accumulate up to $100 million in healthcare savings annually. (CDC, 2020) 
  • Estimates show that federal and state governments would yield an ROI of $7.7 million yearly, with a $3 million annual ROI for states if adults with I/DD were offered Medicaid dental care. (NCD, 2022) 
  • Providing sealants to children from low-income families can save up to $300 million. (CDC, 2020) 
  • Every sealed tooth saves more than $11 for treatments or procedures. (CDC, 2020) 

On a Final Note 

These oral health statistics show that oral diseases are prominent among people of all ages and continue to be a serious health problem. 

Therefore, governments must invest in dental health programs and improve access to dental services. Such investments can help people suffering from dental diseases achieve better oral health and bring good long-term ROI for countries. 


*We’re using an archived version of the page as the source.  

Written by Shortlister Editorial Team
Written by Shortlister Editorial Team