Hot Topics     Women's Health     Healthy Kids     Teen Health     Health Guide    

Poor oral health can cause serious medical conditions



New Delta Dental report finds many are unaware of this connection

Poor oral health can cause serious medical conditions


Today, Delta Dental released the 2022 State of America's Oral Health and Wellness Report, a nationwide analysis of consumer opinions and behaviors relating to oral health. Findings from the Delta Dental-commissioned research of U.S. adults and parents of children ages 12 and younger illuminate what they thought about their oral health and what they did to properly care for it at home and with their dentist during 2021. 

A few highlights from this year's report include:

Public interest prevails in getting smarter about oral health's link to better health

  • Nearly all U.S. adults (92%) and parents (96%) indicate that they consider oral health to be very, if not extremely, important to overall health.
  • However, the research finds that many are unaware of how oral health and overall health are connected, as a significant number of people were unable to recognize the medical conditions that are linked to poor oral health, including strokes (38%), high blood pressure (37%) and diabetes (36%).
  • The promising news is 9 in 10 (90%) adults are interested in learning about oral health's critical connection to overall health.

Visits to dentist on the rise

  • Most children (89%) and adults (72%) went to the dentist last year.
  • This year, significantly fewer parents report that their children are experiencing or have experienced oral health issues compared to surveys from the previous two years, which could correlate to the finding that significantly more children visited their dentist for preventive reasons in 2021 (92%) than the year before (81% in 2020).
  • Nearly all (94%) adults plan to visit the dentist this year.

New research finds 9 in 10 U.S. adults want to learn about oral health's critical connection to overall health.

"While the survey indicates that most adults and parents across the United States understand that oral health is critically important to overall health, it appears that most don't fully realize the ways oral health is linked to serious health issues. Unfortunately, this lack of understanding isn't surprising, as people often think of the mouth and body as two distinct parts," said James W. Hutchison, President & CEO, Delta Dental Plans Association. "One way we continue to partner with the public on their journey to better health is by maintaining our commitment to elevate their awareness of the essential role of oral health."

To read the full 2022 State of America's Oral Health and Wellness Report and learn more about the report's methodology and findings, click here.

About the research

The 2022 State of America's Oral Health and Wellness Report is based upon Delta Dental-commissioned research conducted between January 19 and January 28, 2022, by Material, a global insights and strategy consultancy, using an email invitation and online surveys to two audiences recruited through an opt-in panel:

  • 1,172 parents of children ages 12 and younger.
  • 1,027 nationally representative Americans ages 18+.

Quotas were set to ensure a reliable and accurate representation of the U.S. population of adults and parents with children ages 12 and younger. The report has a margin of error of +/- 3%.

Follow us on Twitter @DeltaDental and Facebook: Delta Dental Plans Association 

Based in Oak Brook, Illinois, Delta Dental Plans Association is the not-for-profit national association of the 39 independent Delta Dental companies. Through these companies, Delta Dental is the nation's largest dental insurance provider, covering more than 83 million Americans, and offering the country's largest dental network with approximately 154,000 participating dentists. Visit deltadental.com for information on individual dental insurance plans and group dental insurance plans.



Other articles by HVP News Reporters


  • Residential refresh

    Personalized touches for your home

    Your home is an expression of you, your personality, and your lifestyle. When it comes to personalizing your home’s aesthetic, try leaning into your senses to inspire change within your space. read more »
  • An elevated sandwich for any occasion

    Your family is going to love this

    They might not be the fanciest of foods, but when you eat a filling, protein-packed sandwich, you are usually left satisfied and full of energy. From ham and turkey to mayo and mustard, the possibilities are nearly endless when sandwiches are on the menu. read more »
  • Graduation party planning

    5 tips to make yours awesome

    Graduation marks the end of one chapter and the beginning of another, a significant milestone worth celebrating. However, planning a graduation party can be overwhelming. read more »
  • Know as they grow

    How birth defects affect each stage of life

    Birth defects, structural changes that affect one or more parts of the body, are the leading cause of infant mortality. A baby is born with a birth defect every 4.5 minutes, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC). read more »
  • Almost two-thirds of home fires are due to human error

    Here's how to prepare

    The threat of a home fire is greater than most people think. 40% of people believe they are more likely to win the lottery or get struck by lightning than experience a home fire, yet residential fires are the most common disaster people face in the United States, according to the American Red Cross. read more »
  • How to erase negative self-talk and feel better

    Writing can help

    It’s been four years since the collective trauma of the pandemic created widespread grief, anxiety, and isolation, but the psychological wounds of this period have not fully healed. read more »
  • 7 ways to reduce energy bills during summer heat

    Don't let your budget get smoked during a heat wave

    With temperatures forecasted to run at least 2 degrees higher than historical averages across more than half the country, according to projections from AccuWeather, heat waves may lead to soaring air-conditioning bills this summer. read more »
  • Celebrate Father's Day with exciting outdoor activities

    5 ideas for a day of fun for the special guy in your life

    A thoughtful card or personalized gift can go a long way on Father’s Day, but what many dads (and grandpas) want on their special day is time spent with loved ones. read more »
  • Preparing for your first pet

    5 tips for new pet owners

    Welcoming a new pet into your family can be an exciting addition, but preparation is required to provide a loving home and enjoy the unconditional love of a four-legged family member. read more »
  • Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy 101

    What every student-athlete should know

    Heart conditions may be more often associated with older individuals, but you might be surprised to learn hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is the most common condition responsible for sudden cardiac death in young athletes. In fact, it’s the cause of 40% of sudden cardiac death cases. read more »