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Pain of avoiding dental care
Updated: 2/20/2009 7:00:41 PM

Those who put off dental care may be setting themselves up for an uncomfortable and painful day at the dentist Those who put off dental care may be setting themselves up for an uncomfortable and painful day at the dentist's office.

Jennifer Shepherd from North Carolina brushed off the ache in the back of her mouth for about two and a half weeks before finally visiting a hospital's ER, Asheville's Citizen-Times reports. The pain in the 31-year-old's mouth had become an abscess, which meant she needed to go in for surgery.

It's a common story in Buncombe County, North Carolina, where approximately 5,600 residents reported never seeing a dentist in 2006, according to the article. Not administering regular dental care, either because of lack of access or dental insurance, has forced some local dentists like Dr Steve Adams to do more teeth extractions to prevent the dental health of the area's residents to worsen.

Adams told the news provider that last year, during a free dental clinic event, his clinicians saw 79 patients and pulled 128 teeth.

Poor dental care can increase the risk of tooth decay and gum disease, which in turn can lead to conditions such as heart disease.

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