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Infographic
June 2016

Income Disparities in Oral Health and Well-Being for U.S. Adults

Despite some improvements since a landmark Surgeon General’s report in 2000, unacceptable numbers of adults across all income levels suffer from dental problems that degrade their quality of life. And it is cost that prevents them from getting the care they need, according to Oral Health & Well-being in the United States, a report produced by the American Dental Association's Health Policy Institute. Our infographic below highlights some of the key findings in the report that pertain to low-income adults.

Low-income adults are almost 10 times as likely as high-income adults to rate the overall condition of their mouth and teeth as poor.


Low-income adults are nearly twice as likely as high-income adults to say life in general is less satisfying due to the condition of their mouth and teeth.


Low-income adults are nearly twice as likely as high-income adults to have the appearance of their mouth and teeth affect their ability to interview for a job.


Low-income adults are more than twice as likely as high-income adults to very often or occasionally avoid smiling due to the condition of their mouth or teeth.


Low-income adults are more than twice as likely as high-income adults to very often or occasionally feel embarrassment due to the condition of their mouth and teeth.


Cost is the top reason for not visiting a dentist more frequently, regardless of income (age or source of benefits), but low-income adults are most affected.

Source: American Dental Association Health Policy Institute, Oral Health and Well-Being in the United States (ADA June 2016)