Caries Research 1981; 15(5): 445-50.

Secular changes in caries prevalence in two Massachusetts towns.

R.L. Glass
Forsyth Dental Center, Boston, Mass., USA.

Abstract: Secular trends in caries prevalance in 1,775 children 7-13 years of age have been analyzed over a period of 20 years in areas then without water fluoridation. Dental examination data were derived from clinical trials carried out by the same examiner under the same conditions in the same neighborhood controls. Substantial reductions in caries prevalence were observed in mean age-specific counts of DMF teeth and DF surfaces. Also, there was a marked reduction in teeth extracted due to caries. Decayed surfaces showed the greatest decrease; there were also decreased numbers of filled surfaces. The observed decreases in caries prevalence approximated those expected if the drinking water had been fluoridated. Increased utilization of fluoride dentrifices and dietary fluoride supplements during the 20-year period provide the most logical explanation for the observed decreases. However, specific causal relationships may not be established.

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