Medicare is a part of the Australian health system that covers all Australian citizens and some permanent residents. The Medicare system covers hospital, medical and pharmaceutical areas, however when it comes to dental health only some area are covered (department of human services 2013).
Research has shown that oral health does not only affect the mouth and region but the health and wellbeing of the whole body. Mr Al Watanabe, a dentist in Solmon creek discusses how poor oral health effects a person’s overall health, and has linked poor oral health to heart infections, clogged arteries, strokes, respiratory problems and for pregnant women premature and low birth weight (Harshman 2013). Dr Malik a dental surgeon discusses how the teeth and the entire mouth are pathways to the wellbeing of the entire body. Dental erosions can be linked to acid reflux or mineral imbalance, or chronic sinus congestion resulting from poor oral health (Johnston 2013). Gum inflammation (gingivitis) causes serious periodontitis, which include symptoms like bad breath, bleeding, swollen and receding gums, and eventually tooth loss. Research also links periodontitis to a risk of heart disease and strokes. Steven James from the Australian Diabetes Council discusses how a large increase of cavities and gum disease cause high blood glucose, hence people with diabetes have an increased risk of oral complications (Johnston 2013). Al Watanabe further discuss how poor oral health will impact negatively on people who suffer from diabetes, because when a sufferer of diabetes bad oral health such as gum diseases they have harder time controlling their sugar levels (Harshman 2013).
The Australian government is always trying to insure the mental and physical well-being of all its citizens, then why is oral health excluded from the health scheme. We are demanding that medicare cover dental and we hope you can give us your voice to support our cause.
Overall the costs of oral health leads to:
- poor oral health
- financial burden
- physical and mental health problems
- bad physical appearance.
• Harshman, M. (2013, Jul 15). Better teeth, better health. Columbian. Vancouver, Wash, ProQuest Central, ISSN 10434151 Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/1402026979?accountid=36155
• Department of Human Services 2013, Medicare services, ABN 90 794 605 008, retrieved from http://www.humanservices.gov.au/customer/subjects/medicare-services
• Johnston B 2013, body+soul, The dangers of poor dental health, NewsLifeMedia Pty Ltd. All rights reserved.
We, the undersigned, request the Australian Health Minister to include dental cover in medicare for all Australian citizens.
The Support Denticare: national dental treatment insurance petition to australian health minister was written by Denticare and is in the category Health at GoPetition.