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The Burden of Oral Disease:
A Tool for Creating State Documents

Burden Book cover

The Burden of Oral Disease tool was created to help states develop a comprehensive document that describes their burden of oral disease.

This tool provides users with data on a broad range of indicators related to national and state health objectives about oral health. It focuses on the indicators in the National Oral Health Surveillance System and other recommended elements using Healthy People 2010 indicators.

The tool includes

  • An outline.
  • Sample text.
  • National data.
  • References.

These can be used to document the prevalence of oral disease, unmet dental needs, and disparities in oral health. Each chapter includes background information on oral disease and conditions, as well as basic tables and examples of data displayed as bar charts.

This tool is not prescriptive; the text can be freely edited or supplemented and the methods of data presentation may be altered.

In addition, this tool includes an appendix with sample fact sheets and policy briefs. A calendar of expected data release dates from national surveys also is provided (Appendix b). As updates are released, these will be made available on this Web site.

A CD-ROM of this document is available for state programs and may be ordered by sending a request to

Suggested Citation: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Burden of Oral Disease: Tool for Creating State Documents. Atlanta: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; 2005. Available at:

Scott L. Tomar, DMD, MPH, DrPH, Associate Professor, University of Florida College of Dentistry
Beth Hines, MPH, RDH, Public Health Educator, CDC Division of Oral Health
Lisa R. Levy, MPH, Fellow, Association of Schools of Public Health

Contributors to this document included:
Association of State and Territorial Dental Directors
Children's Dental Health Project
Colorado Department of Public Health, Oral Health Program
Michigan Department of Community Health
Mississippi Health Policy and Research Center

Table of Contents [PDF–28K]
How To Use This Reference Tool [PDF–66K]

  • Guidelines for Using and Interpreting National Data
    • Updating Data
    • Presenting Race/Ethnicity Data
  • Elements Addressed in CDC's State Infrastructure and Capacity Building Cooperative Agreement Program (PA 3022)


I. Introduction [PDF–35K] [Word–61K]


II. Executive Summary [PDF–26K] [Word–24K]

This chapter, developed by a state program based on the data described in the burden document, summarizes the status of oral disease burden in its populations.


III. National and State Objectives on Oral Health [PDF–184K] [Word–31K]


IV. The Burden of Oral Diseases [PDF–338K] [Word–70K]

  • Prevalence of Disease and Unmet Needs
    • Children
    • Adults—Dental Caries/Tooth Loss/Periodontal (Gum) Diseases/Oral Cancer
  • Disparities
    • Racial and Ethnic Groups
    • Women's Health
    • People with Disabilities
    • Socioeconomic Disparities
  • Societal Impact of Oral Disease
    • Social Impact
    • Economic Impact—Direct Costs of Oral Diseases/Indirect Costs of Oral Diseases
    • Oral Disease and Other Health Conditions


V. Risk and Protective Factors Affecting Oral Diseases [PDF–257K] [Word–49K]

  • Community Water Fluoridation
  • Topical Fluorides and Fluoride Supplements
  • Dental Sealants
  • Preventative Visits
  • Screening for Oral Cancer
  • Tobacco Control
  • Oral Health Education


VI. Provision of Dental Services [PDF–52K] [Word–375K]

  • Dental Workforce and Capacity
  • Dental Workforce Diversity
  • Use of Dental Services
    • General Population
    • Special Populations
  • Dental Medicaid and State Children's Health Insurance Programs (SCHIP)
  • Community and Migrant Health Centers and other State, County, and Local Programs


VII. Conclusions [PDF–26K] [Word–30K]

This chapter is developed by the state and summarizes the overall findings provided in this document.


VIII. References [PDF–116K] [Word–33K]


IX. Appendices

  • Indicators of Oral Health Status [PDF–81KB]
  • Calendar of Expected Data Release Dates [PDF–69KB]
  • Sample Fact Sheet: Fluoridation [PDF–208KB]
  • Sample Fact Sheet: Sealants [PDF–235KB]
  • Example Policy Brief: Children's Dental Health Project [PDF–76KB]
  • Example Policy Brief: Children's Oral Health in Mississippi [PDF–349KB]
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