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Nearly 1 in 5 Americans Older Than 65 Do Not Have a Single Real Tooth Left

Dental care is unquestionably expensive and, because dental insurance usually isn’t part of regular health insurance, millions of Americans not only don’t have dental insurance, but are harboring broken or rotting teeth. As a result, according to The Washington Post, 1 in 5 Americans over the age of 65 doesn’t have a single real tooth left.

The most obvious comment for this is why does health care ignore your mouth? Why does dentistry remain distinctly separated from the field of medicine, even though it’s widely known that your oral health is intrinsically connected to your overall health?

Your mouth is not separate from your body. People who fail to brush their teeth twice a day may be putting themselves at risk of heart disease, bad breath, dementia, kidney disease and more. Every year, more than 1 million people end up in hospital emergency rooms due to dental problems that either could have been prevented, or treated in a dentist’s office.

The cost of these visits is more than $1 billion a year. Yet, the only answer health officials seem to have for this is to continue to push fluoridation of municipal water systems and oral fluoride treatments for those who don’t have fluoridated water.

The real answer to cavity prevention starts with your diet. Cavities are not caused by a lack of fluoride but, rather, are often associated with dietary and lifestyle factors. To begin, proper dental care in the form of brushing and flossing can’t be beat. Next, eliminate sugars, specifically refined and processed sugars, from diet. Eat whole, real, fresh foods and plenty of fermented vegetables, which can help prevent the proliferation of the bacteria that cause decay while promoting protective varieties.
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