Dental decay is a problem that dentists work diligently to help people fight so they can enjoy good oral health. Management by statistics is a common approach used in many facets of society today and oral health is no exception.
According to Cision PR Newswire, Oral Health America (OHA) is concerned about the oral health of America’s seniors. By 2030, statistics indicate that 721 million seniors will be living in the United States. OHA has been gathering statistics that grade oral healthcare and degrees of dental decay for seniors. Here is the progress report as of April 2018:
- One-third of seniors have lost six or more teeth
- Out of all the U.S. states, 25 state receive poor grades for oral health care
- The lowest scoring states included Wyoming, Delaware, West Virginia, New Jersey, Arkansas, Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Tennessee and Mississippi (lowest score) and Alabama (most improved score from 50 in 2016 to 29 in 2018)
- States with excellent scores were Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Connecticut and Colorado
- Iowa and Colorado made significant improvements in their scores
- The state average for water fluoridation increased to 72.6%
- Medicaid coverage for oral health benefits increased
How Is Dental Decay Graded?
To determine grades, OHA gathered data about adult oral health that examined the following:
- Severe Tooth Loss (six or more teeth)
- Dental Visits
- Adult Medicaid Dental Benefits
- Community Water Fluoridation
- State Oral Health Plans
- Basic Screening Surveys
Grades ranged from “Excellent,” “Good,” and “Fair” to “Poor.”
How Can Dental Decay Scores Be Improved for Seniors?
Suggestions to better oral health scores for seniors would involve:
- Comprehensive adult Medicaid dental benefits
- Integrate comprehensive dental coverage in Medicare
- Sustain or expand community water fluoridation
- Target objectives for older adults in State Oral
Are You a Senior Who Has Questions About Your Oral Health?
At Hutto Hippo Family Dental, we are glad to discuss oral health and treatment options to help you have healthy teeth and gums.