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Tooth Loss in Seniors (Age 65 and Over)

Overall, the prevalence of both partial and total tooth loss in seniors has decreased from the early 1970s until the latest (1999-2004) National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. In spite of this improvement, significant disparities remain in some population groups.

Tables 1 and 2 present information about tooth loss for seniors age 65 and over and for selected population groups.

Number of Teeth Remaining (Table 1)

  • Seniors over age 65 have an average of 18.90 remaining teeth.
  • Black seniors, current smokers, and those with lower incomes and less education have fewer remaining teeth.

Number of Adults with Total Tooth Loss (Table 2)

  • 27.27% of seniors over age 65 have no remaining teeth
  • Older seniors, women, Black seniors, current smokers, and those with lower incomes and less education are more likely to have no remaining teeth.

Table 1: Seniors, Mean Number of Permanent Teeth Remaining

Mean number of permanent teeth among seniors over 65 years of age, by selected characteristics:
United States, National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 1999–2004


Characteristic

Mean Number of Permanent Teeth

Age

 

65 to 74 years

19.34

75 years or more

18.36

   

Sex

 

Male

19.03

Female

18.77

   

Race and Ethnicity

 

White, non-Hispanic

19.39

Black, non-Hispanic

15.19

Mexican American

18.15

   

Poverty Status (Income compared to Federal Poverty Level)

 

Less than 100%

15.58

100% to 199%

16.99

Greater than 200%

20.08

   

Education

 

Less than High School

15.86

High School

18.10

More than High School

20.96

   

Smoking History

 

Current Smoker

15.39

Former Smoker

18.16

Never Smoked

19.91

   

Overall

18.90

Data Source: The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) has been an important source of information on oral health and dental care in the United States since the early 1970s. Tables 1 and 2 present the latest NHANES (collected between 1999 and 2004) data regarding tooth decay (dental caries) in children.

Table 2: Seniors, Percent with No Remaining Teeth

Mean percentage of seniors over 65 years of age with no remaining teeth, by selected characteristics:
United States, National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 1999–2004


Characteristic

Percentage with no Remaining Teeth

Age

 

65 to 74 years

23.93

75 years or more

31.30

   

Sex

 

Male

24.42

Female

29.30

   

Race and Ethnicity

 

White, non-Hispanic

26.12

Black, non-Hispanic

32.81

Mexican American

23.90

   

Poverty Status (Income compared to Federal Poverty Level)

 

Less than 100%

44.19

100% to 199%

36.61

Greater than 200%

17.25

   

Education

 

Less than High School

43.32

High School

28.28

More than High School

13.65

   

Smoking History

 

Current Smoker

49.69

Former Smoker

28.69

Never Smoked

21.72

   

Overall

27.27

Data Source: The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) has been an important source of information on oral health and dental care in the United States since the early 1970s. Tables 1 and 2 present the latest NHANES (collected between 1999 and 2004) data regarding tooth decay (dental caries) in children.

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This page last updated: January 06, 2014