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Report States Urgent Oral Care Accounts for 1,000+ Visits Annually to Emergency Room

December 18, 2013

PCCHU – Last night the Peterborough County-City Board of Health learned that crude rates* for local Emergency Department (ED) visits for oral health problems are 65% greater than provincial rates. Young adults, aged 20 to 29 years accounted for the greatest proportion of ED visits.

“It’s disturbing to see this increased strain on our emergency hospital services, but more importantly, it tells us we have a problem with many residents possibly suffering unnecessarily and turning to the Emergency Department for urgent help,” said Dr. Rosana Pellizzari, Medical Officer of Health upon the release of the Peterborough County-City Health Unit’s 2013 Oral Health Status Report.  “We now know that one-third of local residents do not have dental insurance. Over half of our seniors have no dental insurance and only 65% of young adults are covered. This report confirms what public health and social service agencies see on a daily basis – that the lack of affordable dental care is contributing to poorer overall health in our community.”

Oral health is an integral part of overall health and well-being and it has been shown that poor oral health may be associated with some major systematic disease such as diabetes and heart disease.  In addition, dental diseases can severely affect one’s quality of life by causing considerable pain and discomfort as well as interfering with normal activities such as social interactions, work and school tasks. Children who experience dental decay early in life are shown to lag behind others in terms of growth and learning abilities.

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