When it comes to disease or illness, many forget that our oral health or hygiene play a big role. From gum disease to cavities to bacterial infections, the condition of our teeth, mouth, gums are in direct correlation to conditions that affect the digestive system, heart and cancer-causing factors.
I was recently wondering if my current dental plan is a waste of money since it does not include many treatments I consider to be preventative. One annual cleaning per year is not enough to maintain our oral health. My insurance does not cover for those fillings that are healthier either (mercury-free)so I always end up paying out of pocket. If a crown cracks or it is too old, the dentist has to come up with strong justification for replacing them. I do not know about you but a filling or crown that has been in your mouth for over 20 years is probably collecting bacterium somewhere inside. How about a healthy bite, as we get older, our teeth shift and I know my insurance will not pay of a bite evaluation. So at $150 per month premium, what do I get? A whoopie $1,200 annual benefit. I just got 5 old veneers which were decayed replaced. The final bill was $6,400. I had to pay out of pocket the rest.
After reading this information in www.cdc.gov I could not help but to frawn at the problem we have in this country with cost of oral health. It sounds that no one is paying attention to the implications oral health disparity may have in the overall health and wellbeing of people in one of the most technologically advanced societies.
Here is an "excerpt" from the CDC article:
Oral health disparities are profound in the United States. Despite major improvements in oral health for the population as a whole, oral health disparities exist for many racial and ethnic groups, by socioeconomic status, gender, age and geographic location
Some social factors that can contribute to these differences are lifestyle behaviors such as tobacco use, frequency of alcohol use, and poor dietary choices. Just like they affect general health, these behaviors can affect oral. The economic factors that often relate to poor oral health include access to health services and an individual’s ability to get and keep dental insurance.
Disparities in Oral Health
Some of the oral health disparities that exist include the following:
1. Non-Hispanic blacks, Hispanics, and American Indians and Alaska Natives generally have the poorest oral health of any racial and ethnic groups in the United States.
2. Children and Tooth Decay. The greatest racial and ethnic disparity among children aged 2–4 years and aged 6–8 years is seen in Mexican American and black, non-Hispanic children.
3. Adults and Untreated Tooth Decay. Blacks, non-Hispanics, and Mexican Americans aged 35–44 years experience untreated tooth decay nearly twice as much as white, non-Hispanics.
4. Tooth Decay and Education. Adults aged 35–44 years with less than a high school education experience untreated tooth decay nearly three times that of adults with at least some college education.
5. In addition, adults aged 35–44 years with less than a high school education experience destructive periodontal (gum) disease nearly three times that of adults with a least some college education.
7. Adults and Oral Cancer. The 5–year survival rate is lower for oral pharyngeal (throat) cancers among black men than whites (36% versus 61%).
Healthy People 2010 is the nation’s framework to improve the health of all Americans. The overarching goals of Healthy People 2010 are to increase quality and years of healthy life and eliminate health disparities. Interventions such as community water fluoridation and school-based dental sealant programs can help achieve this goal.
All user-generated information on this site is the opinion of its author only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for any medical conditions. Members and guests are responsible for their own posts and the potential consequences of those posts detailed in our Terms of Service.