Prevalence and Distribution of Root Caries in Pomerania, North-East Germany

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The aim of this study was to assess the prevalence and distribution of root caries in the adult population of Pomerania, Germany. The study sample comprised 6,267 randomly selected subjects who were scheduled for examination from 1997 to 2001 (population-based cross-sectional study, response rate: 69%, age range 20–79 years). 499 edentulous persons were excluded from the dental examination (12%) performed according to WHO guidelines (1997). In the statistical analysis, frequency distributions, means and median values were calculated and subdivided for different age groups. The percentage of exposed and affected root surfaces increased with age (root caries index 4.6–10.6%). The mean number of carious/filled root surfaces (RDFS) rose from 0.4 per person (25–34 years) to 2.3 (55–64 years) and dropped for seniors due to the low number of retained teeth. Fillings comprised the largest proportion of the RDFS (69.5%). Most caries/fillings were found on buccal surfaces, the highest rate in mandibular premolars. With about half of over-45-year-olds having at least one carious/filled root surface and increasing number of retained teeth in seniors, root caries is a relevant and probably growing disease in Pomerania and East Germany.

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