AAP Calls on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to Assess Periodontal Health in the U.S.

CHICAGO—April 26, 2010—The American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) was invited to provide testimony to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division of Oral Health (CDC DOH) as part of the strategic planning process for 2011 through 2014. The submission of this testimony is an extension of the longstanding collaboration between the AAP and the CDC to develop a surveillance program to determine the incidence and prevalence of periodontal disease in the U.S. population. Results of a pre-pilot of the surveillance program indicate that the incidence of periodontal disease may be two to three times higher than previous estimates.

The AAP’s testimony called for the CDC to prioritize resources to analyze and validate the results of the 2009-2010 National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey (NHANES), which includes self-report questions on periodontal health as well as a complete periodontal examination. This recommended analysis is vital in establishing a baseline measure of the periodontal health status of the US population, especially in light of the growing body of research that links periodontal disease to other disease states, such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes. The AAP testimony also recommends that the AAP and CDC, along with other stakeholder organizations, partner to promote public awareness of periodontal disease prevalence in the U.S., and raise awareness of the importance of periodontal health in achieving overall health.

According to Samuel Low, DDS, MS, Associate Dean and professor of periodontology at the University of Florida College of Dentistry, and President of the American Academy of Periodontology, “Periodontal disease is a serious public health issue that may have a significant impact on the overall wellness of the US population. Therefore, the AAP greatly appreciates the opportunity to provide this testimony to the CDC. We look forward to continued collaboration with the CDC Division of Oral Health to assess the prevalence of periodontal disease, and optimistically, to increase public awareness of the importance of healthy teeth and gums.”

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