California has many reasons to be proud of its top ranking in the US. California is the most populous state, has the largest economy, is the second largest of the contiguous states in area, and generates the second largest amount of renewable energy. It’s probably even the state with the most songs about it (sorry, Texas, we know you hate to be second-best).
But there’s one Top 10 list we definitely don’t want to be on: the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)’s Top 10 worst states for gum disease. (Though at least we can note that Texas is a worse state for gum disease!).
The First-Ever Regional Study
For the first time in History, the CDC, with the help of the American Association of Periodontists (AAP), has compiled a survey of gum disease estimates not just at a national level, or even a state level, but looking at the impact of gum disease on specific communities.
In addition to establishing the ranking of states by their prevalence of gum disease, the CDC’s survey revealed that gum disease affects Americans unequally based on their sociodemographic status. Gum disease disproportionately affects ethnic minorities, tobacco users, and individuals in communities with lower incomes and poorer access to dental care. There are small pockets with high levels of gum disease throughout the US, including the Mississippi Delta, Native American reservations, and along the US-Mexico border. Both southeastern and southwestern states have higher levels of gum disease, and they account for all states in the top 10:
- New Mexico 52.79%
- Hawaii 51.10 %
- Florida 49.47%
- Mississippi 49.22%
- Texas 48.25%
- Louisiana 48.21%
- Nevada 47.84%
- California 47.80%
- South Carolina 47.78%
- Arizona 47.73%
With nearly half of all Californians between the ages of 30 and 79 experiencing gum disease, it’s clear that we need to make sure that people know the importance of preventive dental care.
Gum Disease Can Be Expensive
The irony of dental care is that many people skip going to the dentist to save money, but end up paying more in the long run. Emergency room visits for dental care are very expensive when compared to regular dental checkups. And it’s not just in dental health that you will see additional costs if you have gum disease.
Gum disease significantly raises your costs of care for many related medical conditions such as coronary artery disease (over $1000 in additional costs per year), pregnancy (over $2400 in additional costs), diabetes (over $2800 in additional costs per year), and cerebral vascular disease (nearly $5700 in additional costs per year).
If you want to do your pocketbook a favor, start getting regular preventive care for your oral health. If you think you can’t afford it, look at our flexible payment and financing options.