One in Six Americans Miss Work Due to Oral Health Issues, New Study Shows

Missing Time Due to Oral Health Issues?

A new study has revealed just how damaging poor dental hygiene can be to workplace productivity.

According to a June 4 article in The Tennessean, the 2014 Delta Dental Oral Health and Wellbeing Survey recently found that approximately one in six Americans — 16% of the population — miss work due to dental health concerns each year. As a result, more than 164 million work hours are lost yearly.

The news reflects the fact that only about 65% of Americans have visited their general dentist in the last 12 months, as a recent Gallup poll showed. Typically, experts advise individuals to visit their dentist twice a year for regular check-ups and cleanings.

Unsurprisingly, good dental health is correlated to one’s overall well-being, The Tennessean also reports. Skipping visits to the dentist’s office can result in complications like gum disease, tooth decay, tooth loss and dental abscesses that often require emergency dental appointments to fix.

The Delta Dental study also discovered a correlation between dental insurance and frequency of visits to the dentist. Almost eight of 10 Americans (78%) with dental coverage visit their dentist one or more times a year, compared to only about half (52%) of those without coverage.

Preventive care and good dental hygiene habits are imperative in maintaining optimal oral health, according to The Tennessean. People who visited the dentist in the last year were 22% more likely to rate their own physical and emotional well-being as being good or better, compared to those who didn’t.

An astonishing 78% of Americans will have at least one dental cavity by the time they turn 17, and 74% of all Americans have some form of periodontal, or gum, disease. Both these things can be easily prevented with regular visits to the dentist’s office for teeth cleanings. With regularly scheduled dental appointments, you will be able to feel better and more productive every day at work and miss less time due to oral health issues.

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