Texas, Montana, West Virginia, and Arkansas top US states with the worst dental health in 2023

Probiotic Dan

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Man with bad teethPhoto byRichard Vignola/Flickr

At the risk of perpetuating negative stereotypes, can you guess where a person is from based on their dental health? Two surveys conducted in 2023 show clear patterns between location and dental health.

However, it has nothing to do with stereotypes. There are more logical explanations for why living in certain areas might negatively affect your dental health. For instance, certain states in the US offer better access to dental professionals and preventive measures like fluoridated water, leading to healthier teeth and gums for their residents.

To shed light on this issue, two studies, one conducted by WalletHub and another by Express Dentist, have ranked the states based on their dental health indicators.

Which are Top 5 States when it comes to Dental Health

WalletHub, a financial website, compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across 26 key indicators of dental wellness. These indicators ranged from the percentage of adolescents and adults who visited a dentist in the past year to dental treatment costs and dentists per capita. Based on this study, here are the top 5 states with the best dental health and the bottom 5 states with the worst dental health

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Map of USA with state and territory namesPhoto byWikimedia Commons

Top 5 Dental Health States

1. Wisconsin

2. Illinois

3. District of Columbia

4. Minnesota

5. Connecticut

Connecticut emerged as the state with the best dental health, with a total score of 86 out of 100 on the study conducted by Express Dentist. The study by Express Dentist came up with these as the top 5 states when it comes to Dental health:

#1Connecticut

#2- District of Columbia

#3-Massachusetts

#4- Hawaii

#5-New Jersey

Bottom 5 States with the Worst Dental Health

When it comes to the bottom 5 states, the WalletHub study ranked

47-Texas

48-Montana

49-West Virginia

50- Arkansas

51- Mississippi

According to the Express Dentist study, the worst performing states were:

#47 Texas

#48 Mississippi

#49 Louisiana

#50 West Virginia

#51 Arkansas

Going by Both Studies

Although there are variations from the results of the two studies, it is safe to conclude that Connecticut has the best dental health, while Texas and Arkansas have the worst. The rankings of the other states may differ slightly between the two studies due to the different methodologies used.

Interesting Trends from the Rankings

Mississippi ranked last in the list of states with the worst dental health, with a total score of 33.42. This unfortunate position was attributed to a low percentage of adults visiting dentists regularly and limited Medicaid adult dental benefits. Other states at the bottom of the list were Arkansas, West Virginia, Louisiana, and Texas.

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Smoking and excessive sugar consumption play significant roles in dental healthPhoto byStephen HockingonUnsplash

Smoking and excessive sugar consumption play significant roles in dental health. States with high percentages of smokers, such as Louisiana and Mississippi, often have worse dental conditions. Similarly, states with high sugar-sweetened beverage consumption, like Arkansas, face higher rates of tooth decay and other oral health issues.

Elderly populations in states like Hawaii and Minnesota have fewer natural teeth removed due to decay or gum disease, contributing to their better oral health and overall quality of life in their golden years. However, in states like Tennessee and Mississippi, a more substantial proportion of the elderly population suffers from tooth loss, affecting their well-being.

Conclusion

The study's findings offer valuable insights into the various factors affecting dental health across the United States. From access to dental care to fluoridation and smoking rates, each state's unique characteristics play a role in its residents' oral health. Addressing these disparities and promoting better oral hygiene can lead to healthier and happier smiles across the nation.

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Probiotic Lifestyle ambassador and Philosopher. Get wise or die trying!

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