Oral health is significantly worse among the poorest people, according to recent research from the United Kingdom.
Preventive dentistry is the most effective way of avoiding costly, long-term dental health issues. If you’re due for a checkup, or if you want to learn more about cosmetic dentistry options to restore your smile, you should contact your dentist.
Perhaps the most jarring finding from the study—which was conducted by researchers at Newcastle University and other institutions—is that the poorest members of society have eight fewer teeth than the wealthiest by the time they reach their 70s. Eight teeth is one-fourth of a full set of adult teeth.
The research examined more than 6,000 people ages 21 and older from a spectrum of income levels and regions across the UK. The findings demonstrated that dental health was much worse among the poorest 20 percent of participants.
Oral Health Problems
According to the study, those with lower incomes and less education suffered a higher rate of oral health problems including:
- Tooth decay
- Periodontal disease
- Missing teeth
- Tooth gaps/shifted teeth
One positive fact to emerge from this study and previous research is that younger people today tend to have healthier mouths than previous generations. This may be due to a number of factors, including worldwide fluoridation programs, improved access to care, and increased awareness of the importance of oral health.
Your Oral Health and Your General Health
Your dental health directly affects your systemic health.
For example, the severe gum disease known as periodontitis can contribute to a heightened risk for some diseases and infections. The tooth loss and bone loss caused by tooth decay and periodontal disease may also lead to osteoporosis, which causes bones to weaken and grow brittle.
Protecting Your Oral Health
The keys to good, long-term oral health include:
- A healthy diet with limited snacks between meals
- Brushing your teeth at least twice each day with a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste
- Flossing at least once a day after brushing
- Replacing your toothbrush every three months, or earlier if the bristles become frayed
- Visiting your dentist regularly for a thorough exam and teeth-cleaning
If you’re seeking a knowledgeable, compassionate dentist in the Colorado Springs area, please contact The Studio for Exceptional Dentistry online or call us at 709-602-2614. Dr. Andrew Hall offers comprehensive general and cosmetic dentistry services to help you maintain a healthy, attractive smile.