Disparities in dental care are happening across the globe, and are coming with serious consequences. Recently, Canadian researchers discovered that nearly half of Ontario seniors did not visit the dentist in the past year, increasing their risk of developing gum disease and other oral health problems.
"Poor oral health can contribute to many serious medical conditions and affect a person's ability to chew and digest food properly, leading to inadequate nutrition," explained Arlene Bierman, M.D., principal investigator of the study.
Even though Canada has universal healthcare, dental visits are not covered by the government. This means that, just as in the U.S., many Canadians are struggling to afford oral care. Researchers suggested that more preventative methods be made to ensure that the older population is getting the dental attention they need.
Women were found to be particularly affected by this problem, suggesting that this population is in need of greater education regarding the importance of maintaining dental health.
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