The very fortunate among us get to enjoy a toothache-free life. They can go to the dentist when it’s convenient, only visit the doctor when necessary, and eat whatever they want without worrying about cavities. But for others, living this pain-free life is just a dream. These people might not have a family doctor or dental insurance while others might just not be able to afford a trip to Jacksonville dental office.
The Reality Is Scary
In the United States, oral health disparities are widespread. In fact, many people don’t even realize that there is a problem. Perhaps that’s because of the numerous mouthwash ads on the television or billboards that depict “happy smiles” from individuals with white teeth and healthy gums. But the reality is more complex than a quick gloss over a dental care aisle at your local pharmacy or store.
Oral healthcare is the leading medical service that most people would opt out of because of the prohibitive costs. It is estimated that 74 million Americans don’t have any form of dental insurance. Teeth tend to be healthier and cavities are less common in people who make more money probably because they can access dental care before problems strike. Furthermore seeking a dentist can be particularly challenging for those with few means of transportation or limited mobility, such as the elderly or the disabled.
Yearly Dental Visits
The National Center for Disease reports that 50.2% of privately insured people had coverage throughout an entire year. 21.2% of those with dental insurance did not see a dentist. The situation is even worse for those without insurance. This disparity has enormous implications on public health, as well as individual wellbeing. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that the prevalence of tooth decay increased among people over age sixty-five; however, tooth decay is still more common among children.
Measures to Address the Disparities
A properly functioning mouth can help the rest of the body ward off some major health problems. However, systemic illnesses can develop as a result of poor oral health. People who don’t visit the dentist regularly are more likely to have heart disease, stroke, pneumonia, diabetes, and even respiratory infections than those who do.
Because access to preventative dental care remains uneven, the CDC has set out measures that help address this issue. Through many public health programs, the CDC hopes to prevent tooth decay, improve oral health education and increase access to preventive care.
A big part of this comes with improving oral health education at home and in schools. Access to dental services is easier when people are better informed about the importance of routine dental care. This can mean coming in for regular cleanings so you can avoid more serious problems down the road. If you see your dentist regularly, your chances of seeing a dentist regularly improve as well. If you’re looking for quality and affordable dental treatment, you can check out https://www.eccellasmiles.com/.
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