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Study Finds Low Socio-Economic Status Linked to Poor Dental Health

An article appearing in the American Journal of Public Health says that low income groups and those with little education are more prone to suffer from severe dental diseases//. The study arrived at these conclusions after analyzing data from 15,000 people residing in North Carolina, Mississippi, Minnesota and Maryland.

The researchers say that a person's income was intimately tied to the level of gum disease or bleeding gums and that a person with low income was most likely to suffer from severe periodontitis. This ultimately leads to tooth loss, a condition that was prevalent among younger age groups as well. These findings remained consistent even after age, gender and neighborhood income level were adjusted. People living in disadvantaged neighborhoods were found to have twice the level of dental problems as compared to their well-off counterparts. The authors say that more research is needed to look into the influence of economic status on the dental health of an individual.

Source: “Socioeconomic Disadvantage and Periodontal Disease: The Dental Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Study.” from The American Journal of Public Health

Luisa N. Borrell, DDS, PhD,
Mailman School of Public Health,
Columbia University,
New York, N.Y


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