Indexed on: 29 May '20Published on: 29 May '20Published in: MMWR. Morbidity and mortality weekly report
Extensive tooth loss can lead to poor diet resulting in weight loss or obesity (1). It can also detract from physical appearance and impede speech, factors that can restrict social contact, inhibit intimacy, and lower self-esteem (1). Chronic medical conditions and oral conditions share common risk factors (2). Persons with chronic conditions are more likely to have untreated dental disease, which can result in tooth loss. Three measures of tooth loss during 1999-2004 and 2011-2016 were estimated by comparing data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) for each period among adults aged ≥50 years with selected chronic conditions.* The three measures were 1) edentulism (having no teeth); 2) severe tooth loss (having eight or fewer teeth) (3); and 3) lacking functional dentition (having <20 teeth out of 28, which is considered a full set for the purpose of NHANES assessments) (4). During 2011-2016, prevalences of edentulism and severe tooth loss were ≥50% higher among adults with fair or poor general health, rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, diabetes, emphysema, heart disease, liver condition, or stroke than among those with those adults without the chronic condition. Lack of functional dentition was also more prevalent among adults with chronic conditions than among persons without these conditions. Tooth loss is preventable with self-care and routine dental visits (1). To encourage these behaviors, public health professionals can educate the public about the association between having a chronic condition and tooth loss, and primary care providers can educate their patients about the importance of healthy behaviors and screen and refer them for needed dental care.