Ethnicity, Social, and Clinical Risk Factors to Tooth Loss among Older Adults in the U.S., NHANES 2011–2018

Haeok Lee, Deogwoon Kim, Andrew Jung, Wonjeong Chae

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background. Many older adults suffer from poor oral health, including tooth loss, and disparities among racial/ethnic and socially disadvantaged populations continue to exist. Methods. Data were obtained from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey among the adult population in the U.S. The prevalence of edentulism and multiple regression models were conducted on 15,821 adults, including Asians, Blacks, Hispanics, Whites, and others to assess the relationships between tooth loss and their predictors. Results. The prevalence of complete tooth loss increased with age from 0.7% for ages 20–44 to 20.2% for ages 65 and over. There are disparities in complete tooth loss regarding race/ethnicity, with the highest percentages (9%) among Whites and Blacks and the lowest percentages among Asians (3%) and Hispanics (4%). After adjusting for predictors, their impact on tooth loss was not consistent within racial/ethnic groups, as Asians had more tooth loss from Model 1 (β = −1.974, p < 0.0001) to Model 5 (β = −1.1705, p < 0.0001). Conclusion. Tooth loss was significantly higher among older adults and racial/ethnic groups even after controlling for other predictors among a nationally representative sample. The findings point to the fact that subgroup-tailored preventions are necessary.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2382
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 1 2022


  • Dementia
  • Ethnicity
  • Health disparities
  • Older adults
  • Oral health
  • Social factors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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