Dental Caries in Permanent Teeth of Children and Adolescents
The prevalence of untreated tooth decay in permanent teeth decreased by 3 percentage points, to 5% among children aged 6–11 years and 17% among adolescents aged 12–19 years since 1999–2004.
Prevalence of caries among children aged 6–11 years decreased from 21% during 1999–2004 to 17% during 2011–2016 (Table 9). Decreases occurred across all sociodemographic groups, except for younger children (aged 6–8 years), non-Hispanic black children, and poor and near-poor combined children. Decreases of more than 5 percentage points were found among older children aged 9–11 years, non-Hispanic white, and Mexican American children. During 2011–2016, prevalence was higher among Mexican American and non-Hispanic black children than among non-Hispanic white children and among poor and near-poor combined than not-poor children.
The prevalence of untreated tooth decay decreased from 8% during 1999–2004 to 5% during 2011–2016 (Table 10). Prevalence declined by more than 4 percentage points among Mexican American children (13% vs. 8%), near-poor children (12% vs. 6%), and poor and near-poor combined children (12% vs. 7%). During 2011–2016, Mexican American (8%), non-Hispanic black (7%), and poor children (8%) had higher prevalence of untreated tooth decay than non-Hispanic white (4%) and not-poor (4%) children.
Mean decayed, missing, or filled permanent teeth (DMFT) among children with any caries was 2.1 (Table 11). Compared to 1999–2004, this measure was higher by 0.2 teeth overall, by 0.3 teeth among non-Hispanic white children, and by 0.4 teeth among children aged 9–11 years.
Since 1999–2004, no changes were detected in mean untreated decayed permanent teeth (DT), while mean filled permanent teeth (FT) increased by 0.2 teeth overall and by 0.3–0.4 teeth among children who were aged 9–11 years, male, Mexican American, and near- poor (Table 11). Mexican American and near-poor children had the largest increase in filled permanent teeth (0.4 teeth). Among near-poor children, a decrease of more than 20 percentage points was found in the mean percentage of permanent teeth with caries that were untreated (% DT/DMFT), and a corresponding increase was found in the mean percentage of teeth that were filled (% FT/DMFT) (Table 12).
Overall, among children with caries, 2 of 4 first permanent molars were affected by caries (Table 13). The mean number of first molars affected was higher among older children aged 9–11 years than among younger children aged 6–8 years.
Prevalence of caries among adolescents aged 12–19 years was 57%, with no detectable change since 1999–2004 (59%) (Table 14). Prevalence declined by 6 percentage points among female and not-poor adolescents. During 2011–2016, prevalence was higher among Mexican American (69%) and poor and near- poor combined (65%) adolescents than among non-Hispanic white (54%) and not-poor (49%) adolescents.
The prevalence of untreated tooth decay overall decreased from 20% during 1999–2004 to 17% during 2011–2016 (Table 15). The largest decline was 8 percentage points among Mexican American adolescents, followed by 6 percentage points among near-poor children, and 5 percentage points among non-Hispanic black children. During 2011–2016, prevalence of untreated decay was higher among non-Hispanic black (20%) and Mexican American (21%) adolescents than among non-Hispanic white (16%) adolescents. It was twice as high among poor and near-poor combined (22%) adolescents than among not-poor adolescents (11%).
The mean DMFT, DT, and FT among adolescents with caries was 4.3, 0.7, and 3.4 teeth overall, respectively, with no detectable changes compared to 1999–2004 (Table 16). However, increases in mean DMFT were found among non-Hispanic black (0.6 teeth) and poor (0.5 teeth) adolescents. Similarly, increases in mean FT were found among non-Hispanic black (0.7 teeth), Mexican American (0.5 teeth), and near-poor (0.5 teeth) adolescents. No changes in mean DT were detected among any sociodemographic group. Poor and near-poor combined adolescents had higher DMFT and DT than not- poor adolescents. The mean percentage of teeth with caries that were untreated (% DT/DMFT) decreased by 10 percentage points for Mexican American, 9 percentage points for non-Hispanic black, and 7 percentage points for poor adolescents, with corresponding increases in the mean percentage of teeth restored (% FT/DMFT) (Table 17).
Among adolescents with caries, the mean number of affected first molars was 2.2. It was 1.2 for second molars, 0.6 for premolars, and 0.2 for anterior teeth, with no detectable changes since 1999–2004 (Table 18). During 2011–2016, older adolescents aged 16–19 years had almost 2 second molars affected by caries compared to 1 second molar among those aged 12–15 years.