The Hidden Costs of Neglecting Dental Care for Low-Income Communities

QGAdmin Feb 16, 2024

Dental care remains an often overlooked aspect of overall health, especially within low-income populations.  Far from being just a matter of aesthetics, poor dental health can be the source of significant health problems, ranging from chronic pain to serious infections that can spread to other parts of the body, even leading to heart disease.  Unfortunately, these medical challenges are only the tip of the iceberg.

Individuals struggling with dental issues face barriers in many facets of life, including the job market. A healthy smile is not only a confidence booster but also a requiement for many customer-facing roles. Consequently, those with visible dental problems may find themselves unfairly judged and passed over for employment opportunities.  This creates a vicious cycle: a lack of financial means results in neglected dental care, which then leads to fewer job prospects and perpetuates the financial struggle.

Even with dental clinics, sliding scales and Medicaid, there are copays and other out of pocket expenses that make dental care out of reach for so many.  If you have ever had a toothache, you know the excrutiating pain that can go along with it. We have had a referral for a 10 year old boy with that kind of pain. We hve seen people lose jobs because their teeth were so bad. Women who wouldn't smile because they were ashamed. That is why Quiet Givers is starting a special campaign to raise $5000 just for dental needs across our counties. Since I started as Director in November, dental care has been one of the top 3 needs I have seen.  It is time to acknowledge this silent crisis and create a fund to assist those that suffer everyday from the pain and shame of poor dental health.