Facts About Tooth Decay

Facts About Tooth Decay

Article Featured on ncohf.org

Did you know that pediatric dental disease, also referred to as childhood tooth decay, is the #1 chronic childhood illness?  When left untreated, childhood tooth decay can have devastasting consequences that extend beyond the dental chair. Rampant decay can negatively impact a child’s overall quality of life, inhibit their cognitive and social development and compromise their growth, function and self esteem.

  • Pediatric dental disease is 5 times more common than asthma and 7 times more common than hay fever.
  • Left untreated, pediatric dental disease can lead to malnourishment, bacterial infections, required emergency surgery and even death.
  • Pain and infection caused by tooth decay can lead to problems in eating, speaking and learning.
  • Dental disease has been linked to heart disease, stroke, diabetes, pneumonia, poor pregnancy outcomes and dementia.



In the U.S. alone,

  • Dental care is the most prevalent unmet health need of children in the United States
  • An estimated 17 million children in America go without dental care each year
  • More than 51 million school hours and 164 million work hours are lost each year due to dental disease, leading to increased educational disparities and decreased productivity
  • Approximately 43% of America’s lack dental insurance, including more than 20 milion children, almost 3 times the population lack medical coverage
  • For every $1 spent on oral health preventive measures, American taxpayers are saved as much as $50 in restorative and emergency procedures for the under and uninsured
  • Only 1.5% of 1 year olds have had a dental office visit compared with 89% who have had an office-based visit with their physician
  • 52% of new recruits have oral health problems needing urgent attention that would delay overseas deployment
  • More than 25% of children aged 2-5 years and 50% of those aged 12-15 years suffer from tooth decay

In Canada,

  • An estimated 2.26 million school days are missed each year due to dental-related illness
  • 4.15 million work days are lost annually due to dental disease
  • 57% of children aged 6-11 years have decayed, missing or filled teeth
  • 59% of adolescents have decayed, missing or filled teeth


Oral health services in many countries is limited.

  • Dental decay is the most common childhood disease worldwide.
  • Tooth decay is still a major problem in most industrialized countries, affecting 60-90% of schoolchildren and a majority of adults.
  • Access to oral health services in developing countries is limited, and teeth are often left untreated or are extracted due to pain.
  • Dental disease is the fourth most expensive disease to treat in most industrialized countries.

Looking for an orthodontist in Beaverton, Oregon? Biermann Orthodontics is a cutting-edge orthodontic practice that serves Beaverton and Molalla, OR, and focuses on providing world-class customer service and efficient treatment. We strive to create stunning smiles in the shortest amount of time without ever sacrificing quality.

Visit our Locations page to find a clinic near you, or schedule an initial consultation.

Biermann Orthodontics

17885 NW Evergreen Parkway, Suite 200
Beaverton, OR 97006