Sunday, May 01, 2016

Americans Desperately Need Dental Care, despite being fluoride-overdosed

After 71 years of fluoridation and 61 years of fluoridated toothpate:

Fluoride overdose symptoms (dental fluorosis or discolored teeth) is growing in incidence and severity after 71 years of fluoridation reaching record numbers of Americans and 61 years of fluoridated toothpaste, a glut of fluoridated dental products (and in higher concentrations both over-the-counter and hidden, to you, in dental materials), fluoride containing medicines and a fluoride-saturated food supply. Yet,

People desperately need dental care, by Susan Sered, Professor of Sociology, Suffolk University

Excerpts: In 2003 and 2004 (pre-Obamacare), I conducted a national study of uninsured Americans in southcentral Illinois, northern Idaho, the Mississippi delta, the Rio Grande Valley of Texas and in eastern Massachusetts.

I asked nearly 150 interviewees: “If President Bush were to declare universal health care for everyone starting tomorrow, what is the first problem you would take care of?” The most common answer by a landslide echoed this respondent’s: “I’ll be waiting outside the dentist’s office at 5:00 in the morning waiting for it to open.”

Many of the people I interviewed lived with untreated diabetes, asthma or even cancer, yet their oral health problems presented the greatest challenges to their quality of life.

Recently I returned to these communities to reinterview the people I’d met over a decade earlier. Very little has changed. While the majority of the people I interviewed now had health care coverage of some sort (for nearly 20 percent of them, it was as a consequence of becoming sufficiently disabled to be eligible for Social Security), very few had managed to secure dental coverage.

Then and now, people told me about visiting emergency rooms in hopes of alleviating pain or using addictive pain medications to make it through the day. People even told me that they had resorted to pulling out their own teeth.

It can be very hard to find dentists who accept Medicaid

I have met women and men of various ages who have pulled their own teeth.

Medicare does not cover dental care. Today, according to government estimates, 70 percent of seniors lack dental coverage.

It is estimated that 108 million Americans have no dental insurance, and that one in four non elderly Americans has untreated tooth decay.

The reality is that tooth decay signifies poverty in pernicious ways. Without expanding insurance to cover oral health, millions of Americans will continue to live with pain, stigma and the risks of systemic diseases that could be averted through an accessible and integrated system of dental care.