Tooth decay is a serious and growing problem in America despite recent advancements in dental care. The prevalence of tooth decay steadily declined throughout the seventies, eighties, and nineties, but recent statistics show that it is once again on the rise.
Much of this can be attributed to climbing costs of dental care and the high percentage of Americans without dental insurance. For those who can’t afford to regularly see a dentist, there are options available for free or cheap dental care.
Recent statistics show that 42 percent of children and 92 percent of adults have had tooth decay in their primary teeth, and 23 percent of both categories have untreated tooth decay. The average adult, aged 20 to 64, has lost 7 teeth, and 3.75 percent have no teeth remaining. Untreated tooth decay and gum disease doesn’t just negatively affect the mouth. It can also lead to heart disease, stroke, diabetes, respiratory disease, digestive disorders, and osteoporosis.
Photo: Herry Lawford