The first comprehensive government report claimed that minorities, children and the elderly have the worst oral health in the country - mainly because they don't have dental insurance.
According to the "Surgeon General's Report on Oral Health', released on May, 25, 2000, about 108 million Americans don't have dental insurance. This is a pretty large number, considering the fact that this is about half of the population of
This report had been in progress since 1997, and has evaluated that 25% of poor children have never visited a dentist before kindergarten. In fact, poor children suffer from twice as many cavities than children who can afford going to the dentist. This report cites a striking disparity in dental disease based on income.
It is well-known that dental health is important to overall health. Chronic oral infections are linked with illnesses such as diabetes, heart and lung disease, low-birth-weight babies and stroke.
Children with serious dental problems also have a higher risk of having low self-esteem, stress and depression. Their dental problems can also interfere with breathing, eating, speaking and swallowing.