Oral Conditions

Goal: Improve oral health by increasing access to oral health care, including preventive services.

Tooth decay is the most common chronic disease in children and adults in the United States.1,2 Healthy People 2030 focuses on reducing tooth decay and other oral health conditions and helping people get oral health care services.3 

Regular preventive dental care can catch problems early, when they’re usually easier to treat.4 But many people don’t get the care they need, often because they can’t afford it. Untreated oral health problems can cause pain and disability and are linked to other diseases.

Strategies to help people access dental services can help prevent problems like tooth decay, gum disease, and tooth loss. Individual-level interventions like topical fluorides and community-level interventions like community water fluoridation can also help improve oral health. In addition, teaching people how to take care of their teeth and gums can help prevent oral health problems.

Objective Status

  • 3 Target met or exceeded
  • 3 Improving
  • 2 Little or no detectable change
  • 3 Getting worse
  • 3 Baseline only
  • 1 Developmental
  • 0 Research

Learn more about objective types



National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. (2018). Dental Caries (Tooth Decay). Retrieved from https://www.nidcr.nih.gov/research/data-statistics/dental-caries


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2019) Oral Health Surveillance Report: Trends in Dental Caries and Sealants, Tooth Retention, and Edentulism, United States, 1999–2004 to 2011–2016. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/oralhealth/pdfs_and_other_files/Oral-Health-Surveillance-Report-2019-h.pdf [PDF - 5.3 MB]


The National Academies (2011). Improving Access to Oral Health Care for Vulnerable and Underserved Populations. Retrieved from https://www.hrsa.gov/sites/default/files/publichealth/clinical/oralhealth/improvingaccess.pdf [PDF - 3.4 MB]


Vujicic M. & Nasseh, K. (2013). A Decade in Dental Care Utilization Among Adults and Children (2001-2010). Health Services Research, 49(2), 460-480. DOI: 10.1111/1475-6773.12130