Black women lose teeth more often than white women, study claims

January 12, 2023  14:12

Tooth loss is more common among black women in Brazil than among white women, according to an article published in PLOS ONE.

Brazilian researchers at the University of Campinas collected data on 3,021 people aged 10 and older. They were asked if they had ever lost their upper or lower teeth, and if so, how many. This excluded baby teeth and teeth removed for reasons other than illness (e.g., to correct appearance).

It turned out that 52% of those surveyed had lost at least one tooth, with significant differences related to race and gender. In particular, black women were most affected. Overall, black women lost teeth 19 percent more often than white men and 26 percent more often than white women. Among blacks, women were also 14% more likely to lose teeth.

Researchers attribute this to the historical legacy of slavery and social stratification. Black people in Brazil live poorer, eat worse, go to the doctor less often and face more stress, which contributes to poor health.

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