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J Periodontol. 2012 Nov;83(11):1337-42. doi: 10.1902/jop.2012.110676. Epub 2012 Feb 11.

Advances in surveillance of periodontitis: the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention periodontal disease surveillance project.

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Division of Adult and Community Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA 30341, USA.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has as one of its strategic goals to support and improve surveillance of periodontal disease. In 2003, the CDC initiated the CDC Periodontal Disease Surveillance Project in collaboration with the American Academy of Periodontology to address population-based surveillance of periodontal disease at the local, state, and national levels. This initiative has made significant advancements toward the goal of improved surveillance, including developing valid self-reported measures that can be obtained from interview-based surveys to predict prevalence of periodontitis in populations. This will allow surveillance of periodontitis at the state and local levels and in countries where clinical resources for surveillance are scarce. This work has produced standard case definitions for surveillance of periodontitis that are now widely recognized and applied in population studies and research. At the national level, this initiative has evaluated the validity of previous clinical examination protocols and tested new protocols on the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), recommending and supporting funding for the gold-standard full-mouth periodontal examination in NHANES 2009 to 2012. These examinations will generate accurate estimates of the prevalence of periodontitis in the US adult population and provide a superior dataset for surveillance and research. Also, this data will be used to generate the necessary coefficients for our self-report questions for use in subsets of the total US population. The impact of these findings on population-based surveillance of periodontitis and future directions of the project are discussed along with plans for dissemination and translation efforts for broader public health use.

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