Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Why People Ignore Dental Health

Dental Health Theatre in St. Louis, Missouri
Dental Health is an integral aspect of a healthy body, an aspect we tend to not keenly follow. Most of us are guilty of not taking our oral health with the seriousness it demands. This indifferent attitude of the common person is a major cause for dental problems that could have been intercepted at an initial stage. As many people later find out that oral health is cost effective to maintain but costly to ignore. Most of the people thinking brushing twice a day is the ultimate commandment of oral health and do not take any further action or initiative. Talk about dental health and it elicits an image of a mother forcing her kid to brush, to many of us.
Greater than 75% of the American population suffers from some degree of gum disease. This despite the country known well for the concern they show towards oral health. Here are 4 common reasons which are responsible for people tending to ignore their dental health.

1. No Pain
Pain is a leading cause for people to seek a doctor of any sort. Dental problems often do not elicit much pain (initially) leading to people to not scrutinize their oral health. Diseases such as dental caries and periodontal disease are well known to progress with out any significant pain until the disease process has established itself. Pain in tooth decay often occurs after the carious process reaches the pulp which means there is nothing you can do except a root canal treatment.

2. Visibility
People take great care of their skin, face as they are aspects of the body which are obvious to people around us. Nothing wrong with that, it’s the human tendency to do so. But, this leaves the dental health out of a person’s priority list. Although, due importance is given for a person’s smile, no concern is shown towards the rest of the dental arch due to lack of visibility. It’s unlikely that a person is going to open his mouth, look in the mirror and go scouring for dental cavities and the like.

3. Fear
The dentist has been traditionally feared due to various reasons. A greater percentage of people have no subjective fear. They fear the dentist because others do so. This non-subjective fear is a harmful one and difficult for a person to overcome. Subjective fears are due to prior dental visits which did not go as the patient desired. Fear is a very compelling emotion and a common reason for many to avoid the dentist. This is often known as dental anxiety or dental phobia. This is evident by the e-presence of many dental anxiety forums, websites and groups on social networking websites.

4. Cost
It is hard to ignore the fact that dental procedures are quite costly to undergo. The fact that most health insurance agencies do not cover dental work is also a hindrance for many. It is has been recently said by President Obama that he would like dental health to be covered. This would be a boon to many people who are procrastinating on their dental health due to the cost involved. People often do not realize that it would cost them more if they do not address the dental problem as soon as possible. Like I said earlier oral health is cost effective to maintain but costly to ignore.

There are plenty of other reasons which are specific to individuals for ignoring their oral health. Few people realize the affect their dental health can have on general health. An initiative needs to be taken by the Government to bring about awareness to the public on dental health aspects. Till then, it is just up to the dentists.