National Oral Health Surveillance System
Complete Tooth Loss: Complete tooth loss (edentulism) is the loss of all
natural teeth. It can substantially reduce quality of life, self-image,
and daily functioning.
Confidence Interval: The
computed interval with a given probability (i.e., 95%) that the true value
of the statistic—such as a mean, proportion, or rate—is contained within
Dental Visits: Regular
use of the oral health care delivery system leads to better oral health by
providing an opportunity for clinical preventive services and early
detection of oral diseases. Infrequent users of dental services have more
decayed teeth, more severe periodontal diseases, and are more likely to
lose all of their teeth.
Status of a community water system in regards to water fluoridation level.
Most water contains some amount of natural fluoride. Fluoridation involves
adjusting fluoride in the water to the level optimal for the prevention of
dental caries. The recommended amount of fluoride in water systems is
0.7–1.2 ppm (parts per million), which is equivalent to 0.7–1.2 mg/L
(milligrams per liter).>
Naturally Fluoridated Water:
Water systems are considered to be naturally fluoridated if they contain
naturally occurring fluoride at 0.7 ppm or more.
systems are considered to be nonfluoridated if they contain less than 0.7
Periodontal Diseases: Periodontal diseases include gingivitis and periodontitis.
Both are inflammatory conditions of the gingival tissues (gum tissues around
the teeth). In more severe forms, periodontitis includes loss of
supporting bone tissue which can lead to tooth loss.
Private Water Supply:
Individual water systems, generally wells and springs, serving one or
Public Water Supply System (PWS):
A public water system provides water for human consumption to the public
through piped or other constructed conveyances. A PWS has at least 15
service connections or regularly serves an average of at least 25
individuals daily for at least 60 days out of the year. Ground water sources, surface water sources, or a
combination of the two sources may provide water to a PWS. In some cases, one PWS may purchase all or
part of its water from another PWS.
The sample represents the population on important characteristics, such as
geographic area, age, sex, race/ethnicity, income, and education level.
"Sampling error arises because the statistic is computed on a subset
of the population being studied." (Groves RM. Survey Errors and
Survey Costs. John Wiley and Sons, NY, 1989, p. 11) Sampling error may
reduced when random sampling designs are used, and when large sample sizes
A dentist or dental hygienist removes soft debris, stain, and hard deposits
(calculus or tartar) on the teeth that cannot be removed by brushing and flossing.
Regular teeth cleaning by a dentist or dental hygienist helps prevent periodontal
Tooth decay is the commonly known term for dental caries, an infectious, transmissible,
disease caused by bacteria. The damage done to teeth by this disease is
commonly known as cavities. Tooth decay can cause pain and lead to
infections in surrounding tissues and tooth loss if not treated properly.
Page last reviewed: July 23, 2010
Page last modified: July 23, 2010
Content Source: Division of
Oral Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion