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With a weak economy, more Americans are looking for ways to cut costs and in an effort to do that, some have cut dental care, according to one dental expert in Oregon.
Peter Morita, an associate dean for patient services at the Oregon Health & Science University School of Dentistry, said in economies such as the one the country is facing now, preventative health measures are usually the first to go, the Oregonian reports.
"Dental care takes a back seat to medical care," Morita told the news provider. "It's one of the first things that, in bad times, people cut back on or go without."
This statement goes along with a Harris Interactive/HealthDay poll conducted last month that found the majority of Americans were cutting health care expenses and that dental care was scaled back the most.
A total of 51 percent of the poll respondents who did not have dental insurance and 30 percent of people who did have insurance said they had skipped necessary dental care in the past year due to financial reasons, HealthDay reports.
If left untreated, dental health problems can lead to serious conditions such as heart disease and diabetes.
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