In a recent study, it was found that those who lived to see their 100th birthday have had better oral conditions, and lowered edentulism than others in the same age group. Strong evidence exists to suggest that oral diseases, leading to tooth loss, serve as a prelude to shortened life expectancy.
Many facets of everyday life contribute to tooth loss; some of the most common are improper oral hygiene regimens, socio-economic status, and even bad habits such as smoking. Tooth loss – even when partial is termed as a disability as it decreases self-confidence and sufferers tend to isolate themselves, avoiding social interactions in fear of being judged.
Further proof by the American Dental Association on Oral Health Well-Being, indicates a positive correlation between poor oral health and the dire effects on mental wellbeing. The report states poor conditions of mouth can affect one’s sleep conditions and reduce participation in social activities. 1 out of 5 Americans feel anxiety due to the condition of their teeth while 23% feel embarrassed. In the last 12 months close to 12% of people have given up on smiling due to bad teeth conditions, equivalent to a whopping 1 in every 4 adults.
Poor appearance of teeth also impacts employment outcomes. Around 18% of overall job seekers have felt vulnerable during an interview because of their teeth. Low income households and respondents under 34 years of age feel the most impacted by how interviewers perceive their choppers during job interviews. They are also the ones most likely to feel life is generally less satisfying.
Experiencing a dry mouth could be a side effect of medications in adults with chronic diseases, or smoking and is an indicator for future health issues. Surprisingly, a majority of the respondents across all income levels report to feeling dry mouth in the study. Xerostomia; as it is known in the medical world, brings with it conditions like tooth decay, fungal infections and cavities in the mouth.
As a nation, the US is in need of better dental care habits, and likewise, better access to dental healthcare plans. Only a meager 15% of respondents from low income households report very good overall oral conditions compared to an astounding 46% of high income households. Despite the availability of some of the most advanced dental treatments, the high cost or lack of insurance in most cases contributes to this figure. Majority of low income participants as a result have come to accept the reality that they may lose their teeth with age.
Although attitudes towards healthcare are consistent across various income and age groups in the study, only 37% visited the dentist last year, even though 77% intended to. Access to dental benefits did not guarantee visits either while adults with Medicaid benefits struggled to find suitable dentists. Comparatively, those sourcing dental benefits from private means fare better. The trend signifies that financially- comfortable families frequented their dentists most last year.
Psychological factors also play a significant part in dental visits. Being afraid of the dentist and inconvenience of location were top reasons cited towards missed appointments. Despite the multiple reasons quoted, cost remains the most consequential deterrent. In fact, Americans across all socio-economic and age groups avoid dental treatments due to high costs.
Giving importance to good dental care can aid in extending your lifespan while regular appointments to your dentist can save your smile. Orchard Scotts Dental is an aesthetic dental clinic that provides non-invasive treatments with minimal tooth extractions. Orchard Scotts Dental Clinic utilises technologies like Invisalign for its non-invasive teeth straightening solutions as well as Straumann, a leading name in premium dental implant products and systems.
To contact us to know more about how you can improve your oral health, achieve a perfect smile for your well being, contact us:
Call: +65 6732 9939