This graph highlights the relationship between gender, ethnicity, socio-economic status and levels of untreated dental decay (in the crowns of one or more teeth) for adults over the age of 18 years. Men have higher rates of untreated dental decay than women. Māori and Pacific peoples have significantly higher rates than adults of Asian or European/Other ethnicities. Untreated tooth decay is also more prevalent in neighbourhoods with the highest levels of socio-economic deprivation.
This data illustrates the impact of ethnicity and socio-economic inequalities on dental health. Differences in levels of decay among children of different ethnicities and economic circumstances are consolidated in adulthood. Gender differences in levels of dental decay suggest that factors other than socio-economic status (such as levels of tooth brushing) also affect rates of tooth decay.
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