96% of adults see connection between oral, overall health

Most Americans believe there is a connection between oral and overall health, according to the CareQuest Institute for Oral Health's "State of Oral Health Equity in America" survey.

The survey results, released April 28, look at adults' knowledge, attitudes, experiences and behaviors related to oral health. It included 5,000 participants and 170 questions. The CareQuest Institute is a nonprofit organization focused on promoting health equity.

Five key findings from this year's survey:

1. Forty-three percent of adults identified cost as a reason they are likely to avoid dental care, compared to 38 percent in 2021.

2. Toothache, cracked or broken teeth, swollen or bleeding gums and frequent dry mouth were the most frequently cited dental problems in 2021 and 2022.

3. Ninety-six percent of adults acknowledged a connection between oral health and overall health.

4. More than two-thirds of adults strongly agree that dental care should be covered by Medicaid (67 percent) and Medicare (70 percent).

5. Fifty-nine percent of Black adults have lost one or more permanent teeth as a result of decay or gum disease, compared with 45 percent for all adults.

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