People without dental insurance may skip regular dentist appointments in order to save money, and this may have led to a serious worldwide epidemic. Dental health is an incredibly important part of an overall wellness routine, and it is now time for that message to be spread throughout the world. According to a recent report conducted by researchers from the University of London, billions of people throughout the globe have serious tooth decay that is going untreated.
The researchers found that nearly 4 billion people worldwide suffer from dental problems, the most common of which are cavities.
"There are close to 4 [billion] people in the world who suffer from untreated oral health conditions that cause toothache and prevent them from eating and possibly sleeping properly, which is a disability," said researcher Wagner Marcenes, Ph.D. "This total does not even include small cavities or mild gum diseases, so we are facing serious problems in the population's oral health."
A serious burden
The report showed that, in the past, researchers focused on how many people were losing their teeth worldwide. However, now the focus needs to be placed on severe periodontitis and untreated caries.
Marcenes said that these findings should shake up the priorities of the global healthcare system. It's important for world leaders to work together to find a way to combat the dental health issues that are placing a substantial burden on people in almost every country. As Marcenes puts it, "An urgent organized social response to oral health problems is needed."
Dental health worldwide
According to the World Health Organization, severe gum disease - such as the kind that results in tooth loss - is found in 15 to 20 percent of middle-aged adults. Furthermore, about 30 percent of individuals between the ages of 65 and 74 have no natural teeth. This is a major issue, since even though there have been major advancements made in dentures and implant technology, there is still nothing that is equal to natural teeth.
Everyone needs access to affordable dental care. Those without dental insurance need to understand that they can purchase discount dental plans to help them gain the coverage they need. These plans can be purchased for about $100 a year, and many dentists will accept them and then offer dental care at a reduced price. Some procedure may even be done at 60 percent off their original cost.
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