Dental caries in adult and elderly Chinese.

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  • Institute of Epidemiology and Social Medicine
  • Department of Anatomy
This paper reports on a study of dental caries conducted among 1744 urban and rural Chinese (from 20 to 80 years old), who were selected by means of a systematic stratified sampling procedure. The prevalence of one or more decayed or filled teeth ranged from 48 to 90% in urban residents, and from 51 to 97% in rural residents, depending on age. The mean number of decayed or filled teeth ranged from 1.2 (+/- 1.9) among 20-29-year-olds, to 6.2 (+/- 5.5) among 70+-year-olds, and was highest among rural residents. Among 20-29-year-olds, the main components of the DFT were enamel lesions and fillings. Among 30-49-year-olds, the DFT consisted mainly of enamel lesions and filled teeth, as well as teeth with lesions involving the pulpal tissues. In subjects over the age of 50 years, lesions involving pulpal tissues were the predominant type, followed by root-surface lesions. In subjects below the age of 50 years, most of the caries experience derived from coronal surfaces, particularly occlusal surfaces. Root-surface caries was predominantly a feature of persons aged 50 years and above. Despite a large number of surfaces being at risk of root-surface caries, less than 10% of the surfaces were so affected. Although cross-sectional in nature, these data indicate that when the oral hygiene standards are poor, caries lesions continue to develop and progress throughout life. With age, dental caries becomes a substantial oral health problem in this population of adult and elderly Chinese, despite the availability of some dental services.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Dental Research
Pages (from-to)1771-6
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - 1989

    Research areas

  • Adult, Age Factors, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Chi-Square Distribution, China, Cross-Sectional Studies, DMF Index, Dental Caries, Dental Enamel, Dentin, Female, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Observer Variation, Rural Population, Sex Factors, Tooth Root, Urban Population

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