Dr. Gordon T. Austin Weighs in on Tooth Decay Epidemic Among Low Income Families

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A series of statistics has many health officials highlighting the growing epidemic of poor oral health among low income families. Trusted dentist Dr. Gordon T. Austin indicates that the solution exists in greater dental care education and awareness.

According to a new report from ABC News, a recent arrest of an underground dentist in Miami, Florida, has raised concern over the growing epidemic of poor oral health among low income Americans. The article notes that while many have turned to uncertified dentists as a way to attain inexpensive dental care, the results can often lead to additional, costlier problems. ABC reports that the growing trend of tooth decay in impoverished areas may be a result of a variety of problems including lack of dental insurance and poor preventative measures. As a trusted Georgia-based dentist, Dr. Gordon T. Austin responds to this increasing concern by noting that many problems can be avoided early if families keep a priority on simple, affordable daily maintenance.

The article explains that the increase of poor dental care, which has led to rampant tooth decay, typically comes from concerns regarding costs. ABC reveals, “A 2003 report by the U.S. Surgeon General found that 108 million Americans had no dental insurance—nearly 2.5 times the number for those who have no health insurance.” With more and more Americans paying for dental costs out of pocket, the article cites that a 2011 survey conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that 33 percent of respondents “skipped dental care or dental checkups because they couldn't afford them.”

In short, budget concerns have caused many low income families to avoid dental care until absolutely necessary. Even in severe cases, many will seek help from hospital emergency rooms, only to receive medication and instruction to consult a dentist. While health costs overall remain a concern for many American families, Dr. Gordon T. Austin explains, “The cost of dental care has increased far less that other areas of health care over the last 20 years. The availability of dental coverage under Medicaid has increased dramatically over the same period.”

Despite Austin’s observation, Nancy Greenwalt of Smile Healthy tells ABC “that [in] her clinics [she is]seeing an increasing number of patients—some of them children as young as three—who have so many rotten teeth that she admits them to the hospital and operates under general anesthesia in order to treat them.” On the subject of American youth, Dr. Gordon T. Austin responds by encouraging all parents and caretakers to embrace greater oral health education, which includes reinforcing routine brushing and flossing.

Dr. Gordon T. Austin concludes, “Dental disease is largely preventable and manageable inexpensively when preformed early in the disease process. Education and emphasis on personal parental responsibility is the best way to turn around this ‘epidemic.'”

Dr. Gordon T. Austin is a United States Navy veteran and has proudly provided 38 years of service to his country. He currently devotes much of his time and attention to raising awareness and support for issues related to U.S. troops and veterans. In addition, Dr. Austin is a third-generation dentist who has loyally served the Carrollton, Georgia, community for 25 years, as well as an Honorable Fellow of the Georgia Dental Association and a Fellow of the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, the American College of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, the American College of Dentists, and the International College of Dentists.

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Nannie Yandell
PR Management Inc.
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