February 8, 2012
Smokers Less Apt To Go To A Dentist
According to a study released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), smokers go to the dentist less often than non-smokers.
The CDC looked at 2008 survey responses from over 16,000 adults between the ages 8- and 64-years-old.
Over a third of smokers in the study said they have three or more dental problems, ranging from stained teeth to jaw pain, toothaches or infected gums.
The CDC said this was more than double the reports of these dental ailments the non-smokers admitted too.
The report also found that 20 percent of the smokers said they have not been to a dentist in at least five years. This was compared to only 10 percent of the group of non-smokers, and those who were former smokers.
Robin Cohen, a CDC statistician who co-authored the new report, said smokers seem to be aware their dental health is worse, but are not doing anything to help.
According to the findings, the main reason for those who have not gone to see a dentist was due to cost.
Over 50 percent of smokers said they haven't gone to a dentist because they can't afford it, compared to 35 percent of those who have never smoked.
An equal percentage of current smokes, former smokers, and never smokers did not visit the dentist for an oral health problem because they were afraid.
Another CDC survey found smoking rates are higher among those with low incomes. It said about 30 percent of Americans with incomes below the federal poverty level say they are current smokers, while less than 19 percent of people with higher incomes are smokers.
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