Send to

Choose Destination
Chin J Dent Res. 2018;21(3):221-229. doi: 10.3290/j.cjdr.a41078.

How Root Caries Differs between Middle-aged People and the Elderly: Findings from the 4th National Oral Health Survey of China.



To investigate the differences in distribution of root caries and related factors between middle-aged and elderly people in China.


In this cross-sectional study, a multistage, cluster strategy was used to recruit 4,410 participants (2,197 males and 2,213 females) aged 35 to 44 years and 4,431 participants (2,222 males and 2,209 females) aged 65 to 74 years from all 31 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities of the mainland of China. The survey was conducted according to the basic methods proposed by the World Health Organization (WHO). Sociodemographic information, oral health behaviour, attitude and knowledge, history of dental prophylaxis and general health condition were collected with a closed questionnaire.


A great increase in the occurrence of root caries in Chinese adults from 35 to 44-year-old to 65 to 74-year-olds, with the prevalence (DFR ≥ 1) from 25.4% to 61.9% and with the mean DFR score from 0.54 ± 1.34 to 2.63 ± 3.75. Filling rates were also very low, only 1.8% and 3.0%, respectively. Females and residents of rural areas were more likely to suffer from root caries. In both the middle-aged group and the elderly group, root caries related to gender, education level, sweet food/drinks consumption, oral health knowledge and status of root surface explosion. In 35 to 44 year olds, toothbrushing is a significant protection factor (OR = 0.88, 95%CI 0.81 ~ 0.96), while using toothpicks is a risk factor (OR = 1.06, 95%CI 1.02 ~ 1.10). In 65 to 74 year olds, not having dental had scaling in the past 12 months is a risk factor (OR = 1.66, 95%CI 1.09 ~ 2.53).


Root caries among middle-aged people and elderly people in China have different risk factors and need more attention in future research to develop proper prevention.


China; elders; middle-aged; risk factor; root caries; the 4th National Oral Health Survey

Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Quintessence Publishing Co., Ltd
Loading ...
Support Center