Dental caries is a widespread but preventable chronic oral health problem that affects people of all ages, races and ethnicities.
In the United States, approximately 20% of young people age 12 to 19 have untreated decay, while 60% of low-income adolescents in the same age group have experienced dental caries.
Among adults age 20 to 64, 20% have untreated decay.
Although much progress has been made in developing and implementing strategies to address tooth decay and assess caries risk, the role of tobacco and marijuana use in the incidence of dental caries has not been closely examined.
► See also: DENTAL ANESTHESIA : Mandibular Anesthesia : Gow-Gates technique
In order to better comprehend the oral health implications of tobacco and/or marijuana use, it is important to understand the trends in these behaviors.
Tobacco use remains one of the leading preventable causes of death in the United States. It is responsible for approximately one out of every five deaths, and from 2000 to 2004, cigarettes killed approximately 443,000 Americans annually.
Cigarette consumption in the U.S. increased from 2.5 billion in the 1900s to more than 360 billion in 2007.
Marcia M. Ditmyer, PhD, MCHES, Christina A. Demopoulos, DDS, MPH and Connie Mobley, PhD, RD