Tuesday – June 28, 2016: A new study from the ADA reveals that while 99% of adults value oral health, only 37% of people actually visit the dentist every year. One-third of Texans actually report experiencing a diminished quality of life due to the condition of their mouth. Annually, 51 million school hours and 164 work hours are lost to dental health problems.
“There is a huge disconnect between the priority placed on oral health and other primary health care routines,” says Dr. Leslie Renee Townsend, DDS. Regional Dental Director for Jefferson Dental. “Unfortunately dental care feels like a luxury to many, and it hugely impacts the quality of life of millions of Texans.
Nearly 34% of Texans experience regular pain and trouble chewing due to their poor oral health. More than 30% of people feel embarrassed to smile due to the condition of their teeth, with 15% reporting that they have actually missed activities due to their teeth. What’s even more shocking is that 24% of people don’t visit the dentist because they have lost their natural teeth due to neglect of dental care.
Aesthetics aren’t even the biggest concern with poor oral health. “Dental health relates to other parts of the body, and poor oral health has been linked to diabetes, heart disease, stroke, breast cancer and a slew of other serious conditions,” says Dr. Townsend.
Dental care is as simple as caring for your teeth at home, notes Dr. Townsend. It is important to brush twice daily for two minutes, and floss between every tooth. Bi-annual dental appointments are important for detecting oral health diseases like tooth decay, gum disease and oral cancers.
For the last five decades, Jefferson Dental has provided low-cost, quality dental care to underserved communities. The original office opened its doors just shy of 50 years ago; today the practice has more than 50 offices in Oak Cliff, Texas.
“If people want to take better control of their health it’s time to start taking better care of their smiles,” says Dr. Townsend.