Data sourcesMedline, Embase and LILACS. Chief Dental Officers worldwide were contacted to request conference reports, theses, government reports and unpublished survey data.Study selectionSelection was carried out independently by two reviewers. Longitudinal or crossover studies based on random samples representing national, subnational or community populations with SP defined as; a community periodontal index of treatment needs (CPITN) score of four, a clinical attachment loss (AL) more than 6 mm, or a gingival PD more than 5 mm.Data extraction and synthesisData extraction and synthesis followed Global Burden of Disease (GBD) 2010 standards and modeled using a Bayesian meta-regression tool developed for the GBD 2010. Countries were grouped in 21 regions and seven super-regions by geographical proximity and mean age of death.ResultsSeventy two studies involving 291,170 patients were included. The majority of these (65) were prevalence studies. In 2010, SP was the sixth-most prevalent condition, affecting 10.8% (95% uncertainty interval [UI]: 10.1%-11.6%) or 743 million people worldwide. Between 1990 and 2010 the global age-standardised prevalence of SP in the entire population was static at 11.2% (95% UI: 10.4%-11.9% in 1990 and 10.5%-12.0% in 2010) a non-significant increase from the 1990 incidence of SP. The age-standardised incidence of SP in 2010 was 701 cases per 100,000 person-years (95% uncertainty interval: 599-823), a non-significant increase from the 1990 incidence of SP. Prevalence increased gradually with age, showing a steep increase between the third and fourth decades of life that was driven by a peak in incidence at around 38 years of age.ConclusionsPolicy makers need to be aware of a predictable increasing burden of SP due to the growing world population associated with an increasing life expectancy and a massive decrease in the prevalence of tooth loss throughout the world from 1990 to 2010. These changes underscore the enormous public health challenge posed by SP and are a microcosm of the epidemiologic transition to non-communicable diseases occurring in many countries.