Low Income Linked to Increased Risk of Tooth Loss

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A new study has found that people with low incomes are likely to lose more teeth than those with higher salaries. Data taken from the UK Adult Dental Health showed that on average, people with lower incomes had eight fewer teeth than those with higher earnings by the time they reached their 70’s.

More than 6,000 people in England, Wales and Northern Ireland took part in the study and participants were aged over 21 and covered all income bands.

The findings revealed that people with low incomes, those with low educational achievement and those from lower occupational classes were more likely to suffer from poor oral health than those with higher incomes, higher educational attainment and higher occupational classes. As well as an increased risk of tooth loss, those with lower salaries also had a higher risk of gum disease and dental decay.

The link between low income and poor oral health is well-documented, but the latest study has outlined the depth of the problem and highlighted the extent of the issues. Professor Jimmy Steele, lead author of the study and head of the dental school at Newcastle University, explained that it was not a surprise that people with lower earnings had worse oral health than richer people. However, the study underlined the size of the gap between rich and poor and showed in detail just how dental health issues can affect people who struggle to afford routine dental treatment.

The findings of the study have been published in the Journal of Dental Research.

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