Fifth German Oral Health Study

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Logo of the DMS V

The Fifth German Oral Health Study(DMS V) provides important insights into dental care in Germany. At the same time, it is a comprehensive database for evidence-based fundamental decisions in health policy discussions and for the design of future health care concepts. The Fifth German Oral Health Study was conducted from October 2013 to June 2014 in accordance with the budget resolutions of November 2012 of the Representative Assembly of the National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Dentists and the Annual General Meeting of the German Dental Association and subsequently scientifically evaluated. It was presented to the public on 16 August 2016.


In 1981, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Dental Federation (Fédération Dentaire Internationale, FDI) formulated global oral health goals for the year 2000 for the first time. Since the first German Oral Health Study (DMS I) in 1989, the Institute of German Dentists (IDZ) has been conducting research on the oral health of the population in Germany on behalf of the National Association of Statutory Health Insurance Dentists (KZBV) and the German Dental Association (BZÄK). On the occasion of the FDI General Assembly in Sydney in 2003, an international working group consisting of representatives of the FDI, the WHO and the International Association for Dental Research (IADR) took up these objectives again and revised them for the new millennium until the year 2020.[1] In 2005, more than 4500 people from all social classes and age groups in Germany underwent a representative survey and were examined dentally in the DMS IV. The group of 15-year-olds was included in this study for the first time in order to gain a deeper insight into the dental situation after the change of teeth. As a repeat study of the DMS III conducted eight years previously, it was possible to show epidemiological trends in the development of oral health during the intervening decade and to provide a solid database for health reporting and health services research.[2] Due to the same study design, the previous oral health studies can serve as a comparison to the latest DMS V.


This is a population-representative, socio-epidemiological cross-sectional study documenting the most important diseases of the oral cavity and teeth as well as the dental care status in four age cohorts. In a multi-stage random selection procedure, 90 cities and municipalities were drawn throughout Germany. Via the residents’ registration offices, 10,000 target persons were again randomly asked to participate. The examinations were conducted by dentists specially trained for this study, who interviewed and examined 4609 subjects with their study teams.[3]


81 percent of 12-year-old children are now caries-free. The number of caries-free dentitions doubled from 1997 to 2014. Among 35- to 44-year-olds, the number of teeth with caries experience has decreased by 30 percent since 1997. The number of teeth with root caries has halved over this period. Severe periodontal disease has halved.

Among 65- to 74-year-olds, there is a downward trend in periodontitis despite more teeth being retained.

Only one in eight people in the 65 to 74 age group is toothless, compared with one in four in 1997. On average, they have five more of their own teeth than in 1997.

Elderly people with care needs have a higher caries experience, fewer of their own teeth and more often removable dentures than the entire age group of older seniors (75 to 100 year olds). Nearly 30 percent of people with care needs are no longer able to clean and care for their own teeth and dentures independently. 60 percent of people with care needs are no longer able to make a dentist appointment
to organize and visit a dentist’s office alone.

Forty-five percent of children and 31 percent of adults are aware of the recommendations for dental care and report good toothbrushing behavior. Compared to 1997, three times more of those aged 65 to 74 say they practice good oral hygiene.

Burdens of disease shift to older ages: older seniors (75- to 100-year-olds) in 2014 have oral health statuses similar to younger seniors (65- to 74-year-olds) in 2005.[4]

DMS V Grafik 1.jpg
DMS V Grafik 2.jpg

See also

  • Study on the health of children and adolescents in Germany
  • Study on the health of adults in Germany
  • Health reporting

Web links

Portal: Dentistry– Overview of Wikipedia content on dentistry

Individual references

  1. M. Hobdell, P. E. Petersen, J. Clarkson, N. Johnson: Global goals for oral health 2020. in: International dental journal. Volume 53, Number 5, October 2003, pp. 285-288, PMID 14560802.
  2. DMS IV – a brief overview, German Society of Dental, Oral and Maxillofacial Medicine (DGZMK). Retrieved 17 August 2016.
  3. R. A. Jordan, C. Bodechtel et al: The Fifth German Oral Health Study (Fünfte Deutsche Mundgesundheitsstudie, DMS V) – rationale, design, and methods. In: BMC oral health. Vol. 14, 2014, p. 161, doi :10.1186/1472-6831-14-161, PMID 25547464, PMC 4417261 (free full text).
  4. A. Rainer Jordan and Wolfgang Micheelis, Fifth German Oral Health Study (DMS V), Materials Series Volume 35, 617 pages, Deutscher Ärzteverlag. 2016 ISBN 978-3-7691-0020-4.