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How Does Age Affect Cavities?

December 20, 2013

People have a misconception that cavities largely affect children only. While it is true that cavity development can be affected by age, studies show that adults are actually more prone to cavities than children due to a number of factors.

Are you more prone to cavities in your 30s?

Today a larger number of older adults have their natural teeth than in past decades. According to a survey done by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, untreated and treated dental cavities in adults between the ages of 20 and 64 have declined since the early 1970s. We can trace this improvement to better nutrition, accessibility of dental care, and health promotion - treatment for dental problems and disease.

This doesn’t mean that adults have less cavities than children. As we age, our teeth wear out and our gums can recede. These make our teeth more susceptible to cavities. Saliva production is decreased too because of several factors like lifestyle changes, dietary choices and even increased medicine intake. In fact, the majority of people over age 50 have tooth-root decay.

Here are some highlights on the statistics research:

  1. 94.30% of people ages 35 to 49 years old have dental cavities.
  2. 25.56% of these people have untreated cavities (no fillings).
  3. Educational attainment and income levels affect prevalence too.
  • White adults and those living in families with higher incomes and more education have had more decay.
  • Black and Hispanic adults, younger adults, and those with lower incomes and less education have more untreated decay.

What does it all mean?

By the age of 39, 86.7% of the United States population has had at least one tooth affected by decay. (source). The older people get, the more teeth that are decayed. This is even with all the advancements in the dental industry. Experts have stressed the importance of nutrition in one’s diet. Our society, especially those living between the middle and higher income class brackets, have access to poor nutritional choices like junk foods, colored drinks (sodas), sugary snacks and sweet treats. No matter how one regularly maintains a proper brushing schedule on his teeth but still consume foods that make the environment in his mouth acidic, he will still be prone to having cavities than the person who maintains and follows a proper diet.

Dental Oral Health

Preventive dental care includes health promotion and health education of eating choices. Dr. Reese will not only provide fluoride-free teeth cleanings, he will also review the integrity of your teeth and gums in order to help prevent or treat gingivitis, periodontal disease, or oral cancer. Your over-all health is important to Dr. Reese as he is an integrative dentist. He will make sure you are aware of the status of your oral health and will recommend whatever options you might need regarding your dental care. The clinic also offers preventative dental products that you can buy in their clinic. Call the office today to for a caries assessment evaluation - 317-882-0228!