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Tooth or Consequences

Dental care remains critical for tens of millions of Americans, even during the pandemic. More than one-quarter of adults in the United States live with untreated tooth decay, with nearly half of adults over 30 showing signs of gum disease. And nearly 1 in 4 adults reports having felt pain in or around their mouth in the past year. Poor oral health is associated with numerous chronic diseases, including heart disease and diabetes. These problems pose an immediate health risk and require urgent care. Yet, less urgent dental conditions can have long-term negative effects as well. But how can you visit your dentist during a pandemic? As a professor, I can tell you that dentists have made many changes to the way your care is provided to improve safety. You should still go, but if you are high risk, you should discuss it with your dentist first. Here are some things you need to know—and do—before …