Why Does Health Care Ignore Your Mouth?

By Dr. Mercola Every year, more than 1 million people end up in hospital emergency rooms (ERs) due to dental problems that could have been treated in a dentist’s office. The cost of these visits is more than $1 billion a year. These startling statistics were reported by The Atlantic in an interview with Mary Otto, author of the book “Teeth: The Story of Beauty, Inequality, and the Struggle for Oral Health in America.”1 It’s widely known that your oral health is intrinsically connected to your overall health, but despite this dentistry remains distinctly separated from the medical field. The ‘Historic Rebuff’ That Separated Your Mouth From the Rest of Your Body’s Health According to Otto, tooth issues were once viewed as primarily mechanical issues, with barbers (who at one time acted as both surgeons and dentists) taking care of tooth extractions along with haircuts. It wasn’t until 1840 that the first dental college was opened by two self-trained dentists in Baltimore


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