According to a recent media release, The American Dental Association, citing "a disturbing dental divide in America," announced a nationwide campaign May 15 to reduce the numbers of adults and children with untreated dental disease.

The ADA unveiled the multifaceted campaign, Action for Dental Health: Dentists Making a Difference, at a National Press Club event with media representatives, members of Congress and oral health advocates and professionals.

"We've made great progress, with each generation enjoying better dental health than the one before," said Dr. Robert Faiella, ADA president. "But there's still a dangerous divide in America between those with good dental health and those without. Our mission is to close that divide. Good oral health isn't a luxury. It's a necessity."

The Association simultaneously released an ADA Dental Divide in America Study conducted online by Harris Interactive on behalf of the Association April 24-29 among U.S. adults. The study confirmed "a disturbing dental divide in America" that is also indicated by prior research from multiple sources, the Association said.

According to a new ADA Health Policy Resources Center analysis of 2010 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey and U.S. Census data, 181 million Americans did not visit a dentist that year. Nearly half of adults over age 30 suffer from some form of gum disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and nearly one in four children under age five already have cavities.

The release states that The Action for Dental Health campaign is national and coordinated in its scope and approach and designed to address the dental health crisis in three distinct areas:

  1. Provide care now to people suffering with untreated disease.
  2. Strengthen and expand the public/private safety net to provide more care to more Americans
  3. Bring dental health education and disease prevention into communities.

To learn more about ADA's Action for Dental Health: Dentists Making a Difference, visit