SocraticGadfly: Dental care as health care

April 03, 2024

Dental care as health care

Smithsonian Magazine asks a good, and partially rhetorical, question, that is, why isn't dental care considered primary health care?

First, as it discusses around the edges, and as I know in detail, it is NOT because Merikkka doesn't have national health care. Without exception, from the countries I have looked at within the modern contries that have some sort of national health care system, dental care is often not covered at all. When it is covered, that coverage is only for minor children, or minors plus senior citizens. Normal adults still aren't covered.

Second, the reality beyond that is that dental care should be considered as such, even as Smithsonian notes it's starting to happen. The inflammation theory of disease notes that a fair amount of inflammation begins in our gums when we don't floss often, let alone at all.

The list of connections between oral health and systemic health—conditions that affect the entire body—is remarkable. For starters, three common dental issues—cavities, tooth loss and periodontal disease—are all associated with heart disease, the leading cause of death in the United States.

The piece goes on to name two major guilty factors besides high sugar diets, and they're two things you should really quit (and yes, quit, on both). They're tobacco and alcohol. (Yes, quit that, too, and don't believe the red wine industry's bullshit.)

And again, failure by the medical industry to adequately connect these dots is not limited to the United States.

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