Healthypeople.gov is your source for information regarding the importance of oral health as an essential part of staying healthy. Good oral health allows a person to speak, smile, smell, taste, touch, chew, swallow, and make facial expressions to show feelings and emotions. A healthy, attractive looking smile can increase your confidence and self esteem at any age. Poor oral health affects Americans at all life stages, from infancy through older adulthood. Oral diseases ranging from dental decay to oral cancers cause pain and disability for millions of Americans. Children and adolescents: tooth decay affects more than 1 in 4 U.S. children age 2 to 5, and 1 in 2 adolescents age 12 to 15. Adults: 1 in 7 adults age 35 to 44 has gum disease; after age 65, the rate increases to 1 in 4. Older adults: 1 in 4 age 65 or older have lost all of their teeth. More than 7,800 people die from oral and pharyngeal (mouth and throat) cancers each year. A growing body of evidence has linked oral health, particularly periodontal (gum) disease, to several chronic diseases, including diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. In pregnant women, poor oral health has also been associated with premature births and low birth weight. These conditions may be prevented in part with regular visits to the dentist.
Robert G. Tupac, DDS, FACP, Inc., Diplomate, American Board of Prosthodontics (661) 325-1275 | www.drtupac.com 5060 California Ave., #170, Bakersfield, CA 93309