Oral health

The second national survey of oral health status of children and adults in China

International Dental Journal (2002) 52, 283-290
Wang Hong-Ying ( Beijing, China)
Poul Erik Petersen (Copenhagen, Denmark)
Bian Jin-You and Zhang Bo-Xue (Beijing, China)


To describe the oral health status of Chinese children and adults at national level in relation to location and province and to highlight changes in dental caries experience.


Cross-sectional study, oral epidemiological survey based on WHO methodology, clinical examinations.


National survey by National Committee for Oral Health.


Representative samples of provinces, districts, townships; cluster sampling including subjects aged 5,12,15,18,35-44 and 65-74. Each age group consisted of 23,452 participants, i.e. total of 140,712 individuals.


At age 5, 76.6% were affected by dental caries and mean DTMF was 4.5. Mean DMFT varied from 1.0 in 12-year-olds, 1.4 in 15-year-olds, 1.6 in 18-year-olds, 2.1 in 35-44-year-olds to 12.4 in 65-74-year-olds. In adults, caries experience was higher in females than in males. The effect of urbanisation on caries prevalence in children varied by province and age. Among adolescents and young adults caries levels were high in urban areas while caries experience was high for old-age people of rural areas. At national level, changes in dental caries prevalence of 12- and 15-year-olds were small. However, some provinces with extensive oral health programmes (e.g. Love Teeth Day) showed declining caries experience whereas provinces with limited preventive activities had increasing levels of caries. For all age groups, gingival bleeding and calculus were most frequent. Severe periodontal conditions were relatively rare.


The systematic implementation of preventive oral care and community-oriented health programmes are needed for the continuous promotion of oral health in China.