Patients Don’t Know the Conditions Linked to Poor Oral Health

dental care in Newberg

When it comes to your dental care in Newberg, the more information you have, the better. Dr. McLeod believes that providing her patients with better information gives them the tools needed to take charge of their oral health, now and into the future.

Our Dental Care in Newberg blog has covered different studies showing a clear connection between an individual’s oral and overall health. Decades’ worth of research has found that patients who develop tooth decay and gum disease have a significantly higher risk of developing chronic health conditions that range from heart disease and diabetes to dementia and stroke. But the results of a new survey suggest that most people still don’t know the risks associated with poor oral health.

While most adults in the U.S. consider their oral health essential to their overall health, a large majority don’t know which conditions are linked to poor oral health, according to a survey published by Delta Dental Plans Association.

Additionally, adult awareness of the systemic health problems associated with poor oral health has decreased, according to Delta’s “2022 State of America’s Oral Health and Wellness Report.”

Knowledge is Key to Protecting Your Oral Health

Improved knowledge is the key to getting patients to take their oral health seriously. Most patients desire a healthy and attractive smile, but that’s not always enough motivation to maintain the right level of oral hygiene at home. If patients understand that the health of their smiles and bodies depends on brushing, flossing, and dental care in Newberg, that additional motivation makes a significant difference.

Unfortunately, according to Delta’s survey, too many adults don’t know that their oral health can directly impact their overall health.

To better understand consumer oral health behavior, over 1,100 parents with children 12 and under and over 1,000 adults were invited to participate in an online survey earlier this year. Of the participants, 92 percent of adults and 96 percent of parents reported that oral health was very or extremely essential to their overall health. So far, so good. However, many were unaware of how their oral and overall health were linked, and their awareness of these connections has not improved.

Of the participants surveyed in 2022, 36 percent did not know a link exists between diabetes and oral health. In 2021, only 30 percent of those surveyed were unaware of this connection. Also in 2022, 38 percent of participants were unaware of the link between poor oral health and stroke risk. In 2021, only 31 percent were unaware of this connection. Finally, in 2022, 37 percent of respondents were unaware of the link between oral health and hypertension, while it was 31 percent in 2021.

On a positive note, 9 out of 10 respondents reported wanting to know more about the connection between their oral and overall health.

Why Dental Care in Newberg Matters

The results of this study just further demonstrate why improved patient knowledge is so crucial. Knowing the risks your health faces due to your decisions profoundly affect how you act. That’s why at Newberg Community Dental, Dr. McLeod will continue to provide her patients with the latest and most up-to-date information regarding their oral and overall health.

If you have any questions about your oral health, please ask Dr. McLeod during your next visit.