Category: Oral Health

Our Mouths: A Global View

How does your dental care compare to the rest of the world?

In honor of World Oral Health Day last week, we’re taking a look at how people in the rest of the world do (or don’t) take care of their teeth.

It’s no real surprise that America leads most of the world in availability of healthcare services. For the rest of the world – 80% of which lives on just $10/day or less – our advanced dental procedures and technology are far out of financial reach.

Global dental statistics also illustrate an economic divide in world oral health. According to the World Health Organization (WHO):

  • Tooth decay and other oral diseases affect roughly half the world’s population
  • Severe periodontal disease, including tooth loss, is the 11th-most common disease globally. In some Asian-Pacific countries, oral cancer is the among the top three cancers by incidence.

WHO also notes that even developed high-income countries, dental treatment accounts for an average of 5% of total health care expenditures, and 20% of out-of-pocket costs.

Global Problems, Local Impact?

Here in Missouri, mouths aren’t doing that great either. In 2017 we ranked 30thin the nationfor quality of dental health.  According to the American Dental Association, currently one-third of our overall residents have teeth in fair or poor condition. And it’s no surprise that those numbers are drastically skewed by income. One-quarter of low-income households have a “Poor” mouth/teeth rating, as compared to only about 2% among high wage-earners.

But there is one statistic that held steady across all income demographics in the Show-Me State: More than 4 in 5 people believe that the appearance of mouth and teeth affects the ability to interview for a job. This can be an career barrier for the roughly 50% of Missouri’s low-income residents who feel embarrassed, have anxiety, or avoid smiling due to the condition of their teeth.

If you are one of the many who suffer from a lack of mouth confidence, we can help. Doctors Meyer & Johns have a variety of available strategies for damaged or irregular teeth, including corrective, cosmetic, and aesthetic.