Lawmakers in Massachusetts recently voted to remove the coverage of cavity filling from the state's subsidized health plans. The move may leave underprivileged residents vulnerable to many oral health problems including tooth decay, loss of teeth and bad breath.
The decision to cut the service comes as Massachusetts tries to close a $30 million budget gap, according to the Cape Cod Times.
BL Hathaway, director of Tri-County Collaborative for Oral Health Excellence, told the news source that many of the people on the plan will be forced to have their teeth pulled - a service that will remain covered.
"You have to have your teeth pulled out but they won't pay for dentures," Hathaway said. "How are people going to eat? It's pretty distressing."
In addition to losing their teeth, individuals who do not have their cavities treated risk other oral health problems like bad breath. Cavities are caused by bacteria that infect a tooth. These microbes can produce a foul odor that can be difficult to get rid of.
Individuals who do not have adequate dental coverage may benefit from investigating specialty breath-freshening products to help fix their bad breath problem.