Dentistry, College of


Date of this Version



Dimensions of Dental Hygiene (October 2012) 10(10): 50-52.


Copyright 2012, Belmont Publications. Used by permission.


As the number of older adults in the United States continues to grow, this change in patient demographics will profoundly affect the practice of dental hygiene. Not only are there more older adults, but they are also retaining more of their natural teeth than ever before. The risk of alveolar bone loss; gingival recession, which can lead to exposed cervical and root areas of the teeth; and tooth wear all increase with age. The confluence of these factors raises the risk of noncarious cervical lesions (NCCLs).

The prevalence of NCCLs is growing, largely due to the rising numbers of older adults in current populations. Dental hygienists are well-equipped to intercept these noncarious lesions and provide appropriate education, prevention, and treatment.