Oral diseases ranging from dental caries (cavities) to oral cancers cause pain and disability for millions of Americans. The impact of these diseases does not stop at the mouth and teeth. A growing body of evidence has linked oral health—particularly periodontal (gum) disease—to several chronic diseases, including diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. These conditions may be prevented, in part, by regular visits to the dentist.

  • Tooth decay affects more than 1 in 4 U.S. children age 2 to 5.

  • Tooth decay affects 1 in 2 U.S. adolescents age 12 to 15.

Older Adults

  • 1 in 4 U.S. adults age 65 or older have lost all of their teeth.

  • More than 7,800 people, mostly older Americans, die from oral and pharyngeal (mouth and throat) cancers each year.



Oral Health