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Pennsylvania Dental Association Cautions Patients: Don't Forgo Dental Visits Because of the Economy
Date:3/31/2009

ugh economic times could also be causing an increase in another dental problem called bruxism, more commonly known as teeth grinding. Frequently linked to stress, which increases during bad economic times, bruxism often remains unnoticed by most patients until their dentist brings it to their attention. Left untreated, a bruxing patient will rapidly wear down his or her tooth enamel, then the layer underneath, ultimately causing teeth breakage. Caught early by a dentist, however, bruxism is easily treatable.

"Avoiding the dentist is not a good way to save a few bucks," said Dr. David A. Tecosky, a member of PDA's Council on Communications and Public Relations. "Checkups aren't just about preventing cavities, dentists also check for more serious conditions like cancer and jaw diseases. Lack of treatment can also lead to health problems beyond oral health, or exacerbate existing ones like diabetes and heart disease. Poor oral health care can compromise one's ability to eat, to smile, or even to get a job."

Dentists advise patients to come in for a checkup every six months. In between visits, their most important general recommendations are that patients:

  • Floss at least once a day.
  • Brush teeth twice daily for at least two minutes each time.
  • Remember to brush all tooth surfaces, as well as the tongue.

PDA also urges patients concerned about the cost of a checkup to contact their dental practice, as many offices are willing to work out a payment plan. Pennsylvanians may also check out PDA's website, which features a directory of free and low-cost dental clinics around the state.

For more information, visit PDA's website at www.padental.org.


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SOURCE Pennsylvania Dental Association
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
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