There has long been an insulting stereotype about Kentuckians. If you're from here like I am, the chances that you've heard it are great. I am quite certain you've heard the rather crude estimation and generalization that many Kentuckians are "toothless." Come on! How many times have you heard someone say, "Toothless rednecks" or another slur along those lines?

Well, here's the alarming news. Statistics show that there is some truth to that unfortunate stereotype. As a rule, Kentuckians don't particularly practice good oral health and they have missing teeth to show for it.

Randomly, I happened across a TV infomercial Sunday morning. The show featured Dr. Robert Schroering DMD (who's based in Louisville) and he was being interviewed about the effectiveness of dental implants.

Normally, I would never watch something like that, but he and the host caught my attention when they started discussing Kentucky.  According to Dr. Schroering, Kentucky leads the nation in the number of "toothless" residents.  He says research shows that Kentucky has the biggest population of people 65 and under who have experienced tooth loss of some sort.

He went on to say that you could fill either UK's Kroger Field or the University of  Louisville's L&N Federal Credit Union Stadium eleven times with Kentuckians who wear dentures.

Diana Polekhina/Unsplash
Diana Polekhina/Unsplash

And that figure does NOT include people who have partials or missing teeth.  That figure ONLY includes people who wear dentures and that estimated total is 700,000. As you can imagine, if you factored in the number of folks with partials or missing teeth, that number would skyrocket exponentially.

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Other research studies concur.  According to a recent WalletHub survey, Kentucky ranks 41st in the nation in dental health. That study rank-ordered all 50 states in two categories: Dental Health & Care and Oral Health. Kentucky ranked a dismal 41st in both.

Plus, it was discovered that Kentucky ranked 49th in the number of adults who saw a dentist within the past year.

Source: WalletHub

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